The £42bn cost of recent severe security breaches at UK firms

While there have been numerous data breaches in recent years affecting some of the UK’s most prominent companies, it seems that many business owners remain unaware of the full extent of the damage that hacking can cause.

A recent report in The Independent made this clear, outlining a recent study undertaken by Oxford Economics. It found that companies’ share prices dropped by an average of 1.8% on a permanent basis in the aftermath of a severe breach involving the loss of a significant amount of sensitive information.

The study found that this equated to a FTSE 100 firm losing an average of £120m as a result of a breach.

Different sectors affected differently by data breaches

The study drew upon publicly available information on cyber security breaches, examining a total of 315 breach events – 65 of which were classified as “severe” or “catastrophic”.

The analysis found that severe public domain security incidents since 2013 led to the loss of at least £42bn for investors.

As observed by Dr Andrew Rogoyski, vice president of cyber security services at the firm that commissioned the research, there is a “huge difference” between industry sectors that are the target of attacks and those that suffer major breaches.

He told the online newspaper: “Healthcare is an example of a sector that suffers a large number of breaches but isn’t necessarily targeted, because there aren’t many ways to monetise attacks on health companies, yet.

“Companies that perform financial transactions tend to be targeted because of the potential for cyber criminals to make money out of them.”

Make sure your own firm is as well-protected as possible

While your own business may not be one of the most valuable in the UK, it is vital to never underestimate the potentially greatly adverse impact of even just one breach.

Sec-Tec has amassed considerable experience in penetration testing since its formation in 1999. We are product independent, and undertake pen tests that use the very best freeware, commercial and manual testing technologies, so that you can have the utmost peace of mind.

Talk to us about our penetration testing process that will allow us to make a realistic assessment of the risks facing your company and the best options for addressing them.