A cyberattack costs companies £1.46m in average

The cost of a cyberattacks to businesses has more than doubled in the past year, a new report by PWC says.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned the survey which has shown that not only has the cost doubled, but the number of security breaches has increased.

To make things even worse, 11 per cent of respondents changed the nature of their business as a result of their worst breach.

The average 'starting costs' for a major security breach at large organisations rose to an average £1.46 million, up from £600,000 last year. Smaller firms were no less immune to the financial drain caused by a cyberattack. The minimum they could expect to pay last year for the most extreme breaches jumped to £310,000 from £115,000 in 2014.

The costs include covering business disruption, lost sales, recovery of assets, fines and compensation.

Speaking to The Telegraph as the report was launched, Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said: “The UK’s digital economy is strong and growing, which is why British businesses remain an attractive target for cyberattack and the cost is rising dramatically.

“Businesses that take this threat seriously are not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data but securing a competitive advantage.”

The survey also found that 90 per cent of large organisations suffered a cyberattack over the year, a rise of nine percentage points. For small businesses the figure was 74per cent, up from 60 per cent a year ago.

Among the greatest areas of vulnerability are our growing dependence on mobile devices, as well as human error.