Cost of data breaches double for SMEs

Date: 2014-10-07

The cost of data breaches for smaller businesses with fewer than 250 employees has almost doubled according to the 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey.

The report, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills found that although the number of small businesses to be hit by a breach had slightly decreased from 64% to 60% the cost had increased to between £65,000 and £115,000, up from £35,000 to £65,000 a year ago.

Worryingly, over half (55%) of the 1,100 respondents taking part in the survey said they expect more security incidents in the coming year, with 65% of smaller companies answering that they do not have insurance to cover themselves in the event of a breach.

One positive finding from the survey is that organisations are becoming more aware of the importance of education on security, with more explaining their security risks to staff to ensure they take the right actions to protect information.

“These are quite frightening statistics for any SME,” commented Jonathan Richardson, Managing Director at Russell Richardson, specialists in secure data shredding and destruction “This report really does highlight that the cost of prevention is much less than the cost of a breach, not to mention the potential damage to an company’s hard earned reputation. It is encouraging to see the increase in awareness around data security, but as an industry we can’t shy away from the fact that we still have a long way to go when it comes to educating organisations of the potential risks of a breach.”