Posted on: 19 June 2020

How cyber breaches are affecting UK businesses

A recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey from the UK Government has uncovered insight into how businesses in the UK are experiencing cyber-attacks.

We have taken a look at some of the key points of the survey and summarised them in the below infographic to show how cyber-attacks are affecting businesses.

2020 Cyber Security Breaches Report Infographic

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2020 Cyber Security Breaches Report Summary

Experience of breaches

  • 46% of UK businesses have experienced a cyber-breach in the last 12 months.
  • 20% of businesses had to use staff time to deal with the cyber breach.
  • 14% of businesses had to stop staff doing daily tasks because of the breach.
  • In the last 12 months, 24% of businesses reported they experienced no cyber-attacks. However, 23% of businesses experienced one attack, whilst 53% experienced at least one per month.
  • 9% of businesses said that they experienced several breaches in one day.

Most disruptive breaches

  • 67% of businesses received fraudulent emails or were directed to fraudulent websites in the last 12 months.
  • 11% of businesses were contacted by individuals posing as organisations either via email or online.
  • 7% of businesses reported being affected by viruses, spyware or malware.

How have breaches impacted businesses?

19% of businesses reported negative outcomes such as:

  • Loss of access to files or networks.
  • Stolen money.
  • Corrupted or damaged systems.

How long does it take to recover?

  • 7% of businesses took between 1-7 days to recover.
  • 17% took 24 hours or less.
  • 72% took “no time at all”.

How much do breaches cost?

Breaches cost different amounts for different types of businesses:

  • All businesses: £3,230 on average.
  • Small businesses: £3,110 on average.
  • Medium and large businesses: £5,220 on average.
  • Charities: £1,560 on average.

The most disruptive breaches of the last 12 months cost businesses:

  • Average direct cost: £2,350.
  • Corrupted or damaged systems: £1,220.
  • Average recovery costs: £860.

Managing cyber security

70% of businesses have cyber security responses in place, such as:

  • Finding the source of the breach.
  • Assigning specialised individuals to cyber security.
  • Investigating the scale and impact of the incident.


  • Just 21% of businesses use all of these measures.
  • Only 38% of businesses reported their most disruptive breach to an external body other than their cyber security provider.
  • Fewer than half of all businesses formally log cyber incidents.

Following a breach, 64% of businesses took these steps to prevent future incidents:

  • More staff training and communications regarding cyber incidents.
  • Updated or changed firewalls and system configurations.
  • Installed, changed or updated antivirus and anti-malware software.

Cyber security policies

38% of businesses have formal cyber security to cover cyber-risks, many of which include:

  • Limiting what staff can do on work devices.
  • Documenting management systems.
  • Remote or mobile working procedures.
  • Monitor the use of personal devices for business use.

Businesses also looked to tackle cyber-crime in the following ways:

  • 37% of businesses have at least one senior team member responsible for cyber-security.
  • 43% have staff dedicated to cyber-security.
  • 69% of businesses have implemented at least 5 of the government recommended cyber-security measures.
  • But, only 12% have implemented all 10 of these measures.

Why invest in cyber security?

  • Protect customer and consumer data.
  • Protect trade secrets, intellectual property and assets.
  • Keep business continuity strong.
  • Protect your business’ reputation.
  • Prevent fraud or theft.

Why take out cyber insurance?

  • Network security liability.
  • Protects against cyber-crime.
  • Protects against business interruption following a cyber-attack.
  • Comply with data laws, such as GDPR.
  • Protect your physical devices from damage.
  • Crisis containment.

Business insurance with Premierline

Rapid changes in technology have meant that we are now reliant on it to communicate, especially for businesses. According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 98% of businesses and 95% of charities in the UK rely on some form of digital communication or service. Because of this, Cyber Insurance is becoming increasingly more important for UK businesses to help protect their digital world.

At Premierline, our trained advisors can tell you more about Cyber Insurance and how it can protect your business. We currently work with Hiscox, one of the leading insurance providers for Cyber Insurance, to find the best cover for our customers looking for cyber protection. Get in touch to speak to one of our trained insurance experts about your cyber and data insurance options. 

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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.