Despite the worrying figures produced by Hiscox, the insurer estimates 52% of UK small businesses have no cyber security strategy in place

UK small businesses are being targeted with an average of 65,000 attempted cyber attacks every day.

This is according to new figures produced by Hiscox, which monitored, in real-time, the total number of attempted attacks on three ‘honeypot’ computer systems which are typical of those used by small firms across the country. 

The total number of attempted attacks ranged from 900 to 359,000 per day, averaging 65,000.

Ahead of the Insurance Times Cyber Insight event on 14 November, Hiscox revealed only 52% of UK small businesses have a clear cyber security strategy in place, despite the increasing frequency of attacks, creating a large gap in the market for many brokers and insurers to fill.


James Brady, head of cyber, Hiscox UK & Ireland said:We know small businesses in the UK are hot targets for cyber criminals and these figures highlight the alarming extent of this.

“Most small businesses recognise the threat that cyber criminals pose on a global scale, but are less convinced of the risks facing their own operations, considering themselves ‘too small’ to be worthy targets, but this just isn’t the case.

“Hackers are prolific and sophisticated which makes staying on top of cyber security a challenge for all organisations.”

Hiscox estimates almost one in three UK small businesses are successfully hacked every year, equivalent to 4,500 successful hacks per day.

However, two thirds of those attacked admit to making no changes to prevent future breaches.

This is one reason why 56% of those who suffer a breach are the victim of multiple attacks, according to the insurer.


The average cost to small UK businesses was £25,700 last year in direct costs (eg ransoms paid and hardware replaced) before indirect costs like reputational damage are added in.

Brady added: “With many small businesses lacking credible cyber security strategies to help manage and prevent such attacks however, the impact when they do occur can be disproportionality severe.

“Outsourcing cyber security management is one option as this can be a more cost effective way to access instant, scalable resources in the event of an attack.

“The best cyber insurance policies will provide exactly that – practical support including legal advice, forensics and reputation management to help get a business back up and running as quickly as possible.”

To raise awareness of the number of cyber attacks across UK small businesses, Hiscox is live streaming the number of attempted attacks to its website and also broadcasting the figures live on over 100 billboards across the UK this week.


Tickets are still available for the Insurance Times Cyber Insight event at the The Tower Hotel, London, on 14 November featuring a variety of industry-leading speakers, including Hiscox’s James Brady, to help brokers secure the best cyber cover for their clients. Tickets and more information is available here.