Today, even the smallest company is aware of the risks it faces in the global business environment. One issue becoming more well known is cyberattacks from hackers and organised criminals who use technology to breach the security of a business to steal money, data and information.

According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), cyberattacks are now a persistent threat for businesses globally. The research goes on to outline what the threats are and the main culprits behind cybersecurity breaches for businesses.

How bad are cyberattacks to business?

The recent upsurge in cybersecurity incidents has been followed by increased media coverage of the issue. In light of this, businesses are now investing in technology to help them guard against these types of attacks.

The ABC reported on April 22 that the number of cyberattacks on Australian businesses was up by 20 per cent this year, according to the Australian Signals Directorate. Top security officials believe cyberattacks are a real concern to be taken seriously.

While large businesses continue to invest at a rate of $10.8 million USD per year on cybersecurity, their small counterparts are much less likely to see it as threat they face, according to PwC.

It is a misconception for small companies to think they are not a target because of their size. They are often seen by cybercriminals as a gateway to much larger companies that use the same networks or that are their clients.

According to a 2014 report from the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a cyberattack to a selected group of companies was $7.6 million USD per year. This was in the range of between $0.5 million and $61 million per company each year.

Cyberattacks on companies have become such a concern that many are taking out business insurance to protect themselves from losses, if they are the victims of a cybersecurity breach.

Who are the main culprits?

The main types of people likely to be responsible for a cyberattack can come from both inside and outside a business.

According to the same report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the insiders most likely to cause a cyberattack were current employees at 35 per cent. Former employees were also major culprits at 30 per cent, with contractors and service providers at 18 per cent.

Outsider culprits tended to be more varied, but also most purposeful in their cause. Terrorists and organised criminals represented a quarter of all outside culprits of cyberattacks.

Stealing the intellectual property or business secrets of your rival was a great way to undermine the competition, and this meant business competitors were also a significant group, at 24 per cent.

If you are in the market for business insurance to protect yourselves against theft, contact MGA Insurance Brokers today.