61% of US and UK SMBs Were Cyberattack Victims in Past Year

One-third of victims in BlackFog research reported loss of customers; four out of 10 reported a loss of customer data.

61% of US and UK SMBs Were Cyberattack Victims in Past Year

Cheyenne, Wyo. – More than three out of every five (61%) of small and medium-sized businesses were victims of a successful cyberattack within the past year, according to new research released today by software company BlackFog.

The research study, which examined the business impact of cybersecurity for organizations in the U.S. and U.K., also “revealed the growing importance of engaging with trusted partners to meet their security challenges,” according to the company announcement Tuesday (June 13).

Almost nine out of every 10 IT decision-makers who responded to the BlackFog survey (87%) say they experienced two or more successful attacks in the past 12 months. On average, organizations saw close to five successful data breaches, malware or ransomware attacks affecting their network in the past year.

The main impact of an attack was business downtime, which affected 58% of respondents, according to the research. The successful attacks also negatively impacted customer trust and retention with one-third of all respondents reporting that the incidents resulted in the loss of customers. Almost two out of every five companies who responded (39%) also reported a loss of customer data.

“Cybercriminals naturally gravitate towards targeting organizations with the lowest level of protection and this typically means small to medium business come under fire”, said Dr. Darren Williams, Founder and CEO of BlackFog, in the company press release. “With 89% of all attacks involving some form of data exfiltration, it is paramount for organizations to prioritize the protection of their most valuable business critical asset, their data.”

Partnerships Combat Cybersecurity Threats

More than one-quarter of all respondents (26%) rated providers and partners as the most highly trusted compared with colleagues in their company (21%), analysts (16%) and peers within other organizations (10%).

Among the key findings on partnerships with external providers, the research also revealed:

  • Almost seven out of every 10 respondents (69%) said they were more likely to ask their partner for advice on new cybersecurity solutions compared to last year.
  • 41% of respondents stated that knowledge of cyberthreats was the biggest challenge in effective protection; highlighting how service providers and partners have a vital role to play in providing access to information and expertise.
  • The majority of respondents (87%) stated that they felt their IT providers were focused on understanding their cybersecurity challenges. However, only 39% of respondents felt they understood all their challenges.
  • High-security standards are expected from partners, with more than one-third of respondents (38%) stating this was the main determining factor when choosing a managed security provider.

“There is a huge opportunity for solution providers and partners to build new relationships in this market, as SMBs struggle to navigate a rising tide of growing cybersecurity threats,” said Williams. “Now, more than ever, as a trusted partner, MSPs have an important responsibility to ensure their client’s data is protected from extortion.

“Existing defensive-based approaches are no longer enough for today’s polymorphic attacks, leveraging data exfiltration as the main weapon of choice,” he said.

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