Cyber-attacks cost British businesses £34bn every year

The battle against cyber-attacks and the damage it causes costs British businesses a stunning £34 billion every year, a new survey has shown.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Think-tank CEBR and computer security group Veracode issued a report, together with a breakdown of the costs: Just over half – some £18 billion – of the total comes from lost revenues as the result of successful attacks. The rest, approximately £16 billion is spent on security measures to make sure the breach never happens.

However, the threat of online attacks is also limiting companies’ ability to grow, The Telegraph writes in a report, with seven out of 10 chief technology officers saying that cybersecurity policies “stifle” innovation at their businesses.

Adrian Beck, director of enterprise security at Veracode, said: “Both businesses and government need to balance regulation and compliance with the need to innovate. There’s immense pressure to innovate but this hyper-connected and globalised world means there is increased risk. Companies have to look at how they can tap into that safely.”

And those that once get burned by boiling milk, they blow even on yoghurt in the future. Fearing cyber-attacks, some companies are reluctant to utilise advanced new technology, holding back their development.

“You can measure it in terms of what your competitors are doing – if they are willing to take risks with security to gain market share, you have to look at whether that risk is worth taking,” said Mr Beck.

“It’s a real fear and the mantra is that it’s not a question of if, but when, you will be attacked,“ he said.