Our fifth annual Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report reveals how the cyber security landscape has changed. It also highlights how organisations have fared through the Covid-19 pandemic and maps out a useful blueprint for cyber readiness best practice.
According to the latest Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, businesses are devoting more resources to the cyber challenge than ever before. This comes as the scale of the problem continues to both change and grow.
More firms were targeted by criminals in 2020 than in 2019, and those who needed to defend their business often did so several times. In fact, the survey found that 28% of the businesses that suffered attacks were targeted on more than five occasions in 2020.
This trend, which saw some businesses facing multiple ransomware attacks, comes alongside new challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cyber Readiness Report provides a unique gauge on the state of commercial cyber security across eight markets – the UK, the US, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Ireland.
In 2020, we reported that the cyber landscape was maturing as losses soared but so too did cyber expertise.
The 2021 report reveals that this trend is becoming stronger as cybercrime has risen for the first time since 2018.
Key findings from the 2021 Cyber Readiness Report
‘A range of impacts’
The results from our 2021 report arrive in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, which many businesses met with resounding cyber resilience. Despite economic pressures, cyber spending was found to have soared. The average business surveyed now devotes more than a fifth (21%) of its IT budget to cyber security, a jump of 63%.
Almost half of respondents said they felt their organisation had become more vulnerable to cyber attacks since the start of the pandemic. This rose to 59% among businesses with more than 250 employees.
However, there was an apparent knowledge gap among the smallest businesses surveyed. Just 31% identified the link between cyber vulnerability and Covid-19, signifying a lack of understanding of pandemic cyber scams.
Last year, the report exposed a divided picture, with success closely tied to budget commitments. This remains true this year; the businesses that the cyber readiness model classifies as experts were found to devote 24% of their IT budgets to cyber.
The 2021 report shows the number of businesses to achieve cyber expert status has risen again, to 20%. After limited growth in 2018 and 2019, it seems leaders are continuing to adopt best practice benefits.
The frequency of cyber events was found to have increased in 2020, bringing a range of financial impacts.
Of those targeted, about one in six businesses said a cyber event threatened the viability of their business.
Ransomware was found to have played a significant role. The survey found that a payment had been demanded from around one in six of those hit by cyber criminals and more than half paid.
Of the eight markets surveyed, the UK market was found to have been the least affected by cyber threats.