10% of Small Businesses Breached Shut Down in 2019


As a result of cybercrime, 69% of small organizations were forced offline for a limited time and 37% experienced financial loss.

Ten percent of small businesses hit with a cyberattack in 2019 were forced to shut down as a result, researchers found in a new survey focused on the consequences of cybercrime for small and midsize businesses.

To compile the report, commissioned by the National Cyber Security Alliance and conducted by Zogby Analytics, analysts polled 1,006 small business decision-makers on cybersecurity topics. They learned 88% consider themselves a “somewhat likely” target for attacks, including 46% who believe they are a “very likely” target. Nearly two-thirds (62%) say security is a top priority. One-third of respondents have an in-house IT department with 10 or more people, 30% have an IT department with fewer than 10, and 55% have an annually updated cybersecurity plan.

The numbers say small businesses are preparing for a future attack: Nearly half (46%) of respondents feel “very prepared” to quickly respond to a security incident and limit its impact, and 58% have a response plan they could immediately put into action. One-third say they would be able to full operate their organization without computers. Bigger companies are better prepared: 73% of those with 251–500 employees have a prepared response plan.

Still, cyberattacks can be devastating. Nearly 30% of businesses surveyed have experienced an official security breach within the past year, a number that ranges from 11% for businesses with 1–10 employees, to 44% among companies with 251–400 employees. Following a breach, 69% of these respondents were knocked offline for a limited time, 37% experienced financial loss, 25% filed for bankruptcy, and 10% went out of business, researchers report.

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