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Closely Half of Business Owners Have Been Victims of Cyber-attacks

Closely Half of Business Owners Have Been Victims of Cyber-attacks

Nationwide’s annual survey of business owners found that 13 percent said they experienced a cyber-attack. However, that number jumped to 58 percent of owners who identified as victims when shown a list of the following types of attacks — revealing a 45 percent gap and absence of understanding about what constitutes an actual attack. According to Nationwide’s third annual survey of 1,069 business owners with 1-299 employees, more than 20 percent of cyber-attack victims spent at least $50,000 and took longer than six months to recover. But 7 % spent more than $100,000, and 5 % took a year or longer to reconstruct their reputation and customer trust. “Cyberattacks are one of the greatest threats to the modern company,” said Mark Berven, president of Property & Casualty for Nationwide. “Business professionals are telling that cyber-criminals aren’t just targeting big companies on Wall Street. They’re also aiming minor corporations on Main Street that often have fewer defense mechanisms in place, less available capital to re-invest in new systems and less name recognition to rebuild a damaged reputation.”

Part of the problem facing a business’ capability to recuperate from an attack, said Nationwide, is that a majority of owners are not prepared. Most do not have a cyber-attack response plan in place (76 %), a plan in place to protect employee data (57 percent) or a plan to protect customer data (54 percent). Additionally, the threat continues to grow as more companies are now frequently using new technologies in a potentially unprotected environment, including the Internet of Things (37 percent) and Artificial Intelligence (24 percent). While the vast mainstream of business owners said it’s significant to establish cyber security best practices recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration, fewer report actually following those best practices that every business owner should consider.

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