123 Reg logo Blog

6 online security statistics you should know

By Will Stevens - October 19, 2021

Online security can feel like an overwhelming topic for the non-expert. Here are six statistics to help you understand the importance of online security, along with some simple tips to help you protect yourself.

The average cost of a cybersecurity breach for a small business is £8,170

The stark truth is that failing to take cybersecurity seriously could have a serious impact on your bottom line.

If it feels like you’ve got enough on your plate without having to worry about cybersecurity, just think about how you’d prioritise any other issue that could put a £8k dent in your accounts.

Statistic source: UK government survey.

48% of UK organisations were hit by a ransomware attack in 2020

Ransomware is a particularly nasty cybersecurity threat. If you become a victim of such an attack, you could have to pay out thousands of pounds to regain access to important business and/or personal data. (You can learn more about what ransomware is here.)

To make matters worse, even if you regain access to your data there’s every chance the hackers have posted that data to the dark web for others to exploit.

Statistic source: Sophos.

41% of UK consumers say they will stop using an organisation that suffers a data breach

If you’re hacked, you’ll need to spend money on putting things right. If you’re a business and customer data is compromised, you may even face a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

That’s bad enough, but the fact two-fifths of your customers could desert you after a hack shows just how important it is to avoid one in the first place.

Statistic source: PCI Pal.

28% of businesses that were targeted by hackers in 2020 were targeted on more than five occasions

Spotting and avoiding one attack isn’t the end of the story. You need to ensure you stay vigilant. To make matters worse, hackers are always on the look out for new ways to get access to valuable data.

Statistic source: Hiscox.

There are around 65,000 attempts to hack small and medium sized businesses every day

It’s tempting to view hackers as individuals tapping away at a keyboard as they desperately try to access someone else’s data.

But the truth is, hackers often work in organised gangs and use automated tools so they can launch multiple attacks with very little effort.

Statistics source: Hiscox.

British retailers have reported an increase in cyberattacks every year since 2015

Cybercrime isn’t going away and ignoring it as an issue only makes it more likely that you’ll become a victim.

By taking some basic steps, you’ll be able to significantly reduce your chances of falling victim to cybercrime.

Statistic source: British Retail Consortium.

Reducing your chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime

There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Be safe with passwords

Use long, complex passwords. A password manager can help you keep track of them. Use a different password for every login and don’t share passwords, even with colleagues.

Keep software up to date

Hackers look to exploit known security flaws. Software updates often contain security updates to fix these flaws.

If don’t keep your software up to date, you could be leaving the door open for hackers.

Remember, this rule applies to software on your devices (such as your laptop and phone) as well as software relating to your website (such as a content management system like WordPress).

Back up and protect important and sensitive data

Backing up important data is something we all know we should do, but we’re not very good at.

However, if you can quickly restore a backup of important data, you could be able to mitigate some of the worst effects of a hack. You can learn more about backing up here.

It’s also vital you encrypt important and sensitive data, especially data about your customers. You can learn more about data encryption in this guide.

You should also use an SSL certificate on your website to encrypt data. This guide explains more about SSL certificates.

Protect your website with a website security tool

Think of a website security tool as an anti-virus programme for your online presence.

A website security tool, such as SiteLock from 123 Reg, can help prevent your websites being hacked and help clean up your site if you’ve already been hacked.

It won’t protect you from all threats, but it’s an excellent way to reduce the threat malware poses to your site.

And of course, it almost goes without saying that you should be using an anti-virus programme to protect your devices.

Educate yourself and employees about the threats your business faces

Many hacking attacks rely on tricking someone into clicking a malicious link or downloading a harmful file.

One of the best ways to avoid falling victim to one of these kinds of attacks is by educating yourself and your employees about cybersecurity risks.

The National Security Centre offers a free cybersecurity course aimed at small organisations. It’s a good place to start.