Cyber-Attacks More Likely Than Fire or Theft, Aviva Research Finds

Written by

In today's digital world, businesses are just as vulnerable to cyber-attacks as they are to fire and theft. New research from insurance provider Aviva found that businesses are 67% more likely to experience a cyber incident than a physical theft and almost five times as likely to have an attack as a fire.

Overall, at least one fifth of UK businesses have fallen victim to a cyber-attack in the past year. The firm found that almost 10% of small businesses and 35% large corporate businesses experienced an cyber incident in the past year.

Many Businesses Lack Cyber Insurance

In terms of the fall out from a cyber-attack, 31% of businesses experienced operational disruption and 20% admit to not being confident in knowing what to do should this happen.

This confidence figure rises to more than a quarter (27%) of small businesses, who appear to be the most vulnerable to such a risk, according to Aviva.

Businesses have claimed an average of £21,000 per incident, according to Aviva data.

Furthermore, Aviva’s research reveals a significant gap in cyber insurance coverage, most notably among small businesses. Only 17% have a cyber insurance policy, and the same proportion say they are unaware that cyber insurance exists.

Stephen Ridley, Aviva’s head of cyber, said: “Though our research shows that one in three (31%) businesses see cyber as the biggest risk to their businesses, it’s worrying to see that many businesses do not know how to protect themselves from this emerging threat. Many businesses do not have cyber cover, leaving them exposed to high, unforeseen costs and significant business disruption which could amount to tens of thousands of pounds.”

Police Support for Cyber-Attacks

Detective Superintendent Ian Kirby, CEO of the National Cyber Resilience Centre Group (NCRCG), said: “Cybercrime is something that can impact on any organization, whatever its size or wherever it is in the country. It is essential that all businesses across the UK economy therefore have robust cyber practices in place, so that they are in the best position to protect themselves from cyber criminals.

“Cybercrime is something that can impact on any organization.”

“In the event of a live cyber-attack, any business should immediately report it to Action Fraud who will direct them to the relevant law enforcement agency for investigation as appropriate.”

Kirby added that he would also encourage small and medium-sized businesses to contact their regional, police-led Cyber Resilience Centre who will be able to offer free, high-quality support on the steps they can take to strengthen their cyber resilience for the future.

Read more – Demystifying Cyber Resilience: From Best Practice to Execution

YouGov Research

The research was part of a YouGov survey of more than 1200 UK senior business leaders from small, mid-market and corporate businesses, from nine industries:

  • Professional & business services
  • Manufacturing & industry
  • Construction & real estate
  • Arts, entertainment & leisure
  • Technology & electronic
  • Retail & wholesale
  • Motor trade
  • Charities
  • Public sector

Fieldwork was conducted between September 15 and  October 8, 2023.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?