Cyberattacks, especially on small businesses, have risen in recent years. So, knowing various small business cybersecurity statistics is important if you run a business.
Small businesses are generally easier to crack than larger ones because of their weaker cybersecurity measures.
That’s why most cybercriminals attack them.
Moreover, such businesses are financially weak, so they aren’t prepared for a cyberattack, and most don’t even have cyber insurance.
In fact, a successful cyberattack has the power to end many small and mid-sized businesses.
However, small businesses (though slowly) understand that not only are larger companies, but small ones are also targeted by cybercriminals.
In fact, they are strengthening their cybersecurity to minimize the risk of being breached.
We’ve found some of the most recent small business cybersecurity stats in 2024 that shed light on the challenges they face.
So, get ready for some eye-opening insights!
- 1 Key Statistics
- 2 Top Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics in 2024
- 2.1 1. Almost Half of The Cyberattacks Were Targeted Against Small Businesses with Less than 1,000 Employees.
- 2.2 2. The Most Common Type of Cyberattack for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Is Malware.
- 2.3 3. 82% of The Ransomware Was Asked Against Small Businesses.
- 2.4 4. Around 88% of Small Business Owners Believe Their Businesses Are Susceptible to Cyberattacks.
- 2.5 5. 72% of Small Businesses only Get Cyber Insurance After Encountering a Cyberattack or Learning About Such Incidents.
- 2.6 6. Only 36% of Small Business Owners Are Familiar with Cyber Insurance.
- 2.7 7. New Cyber Breaches in Small Businesses Increased by 424% Last Year.
- 2.8 8. 47% of Businesses with Less than 50 Employees Have No Budget for Cybersecurity.
- 3 Other Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics
- 3.1 9. 51% of Small Businesses Have No Cybersecurity Measures at All.
- 3.2 10. Around 23% of Small Businesses Suffered at Least One Cyberattack.
- 3.3 11. the Average Annual Loss of Cyberattacks on A Small Business Is Around $25,000.
- 3.4 12. More than One-Fifth of Small Businesses Have Raised Their Cybersecurity Spending.
- 3.5 13. About 66% of Small Businesses Are Concerned About Cybersecurity Risk.
- 3.6 14. 47% of Small Business Owners Have No Idea How To Protect Their Businesses Against Cyberattacks.
- 3.7 15. 75% of Small Businesses Reveal that They Don’t Have the Proper Personnel to Address IT Security.
- 3.8 16. Approximately 22% of Small Businesses Encrypt Their Databases.
- 3.9 17. On Average, a Small Business Pays a Ransom of Only $5900.
- 3.10 18. The Average Cost of Cyber Insurance for A Small Business Is $1,200 per Year.
- 3.11 19. Around 54% of Small Businesses Have No Plan in Place for Reacting to Cyberattacks.
- 3.12 20. Experts Suggest that Small Businesses Allocate at Least 3% of Their Total Spending to Their Cybersecurity Budget.
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Sources
- The most common type of cyberattack for small and mid-sized businesses is malware.
- Around 88% of small business owners believe their businesses are susceptible to cyberattacks.
- Only 36% of small business owners are familiar with cyber insurance.
- New cyber breaches in small businesses increased by 424% last year.
- 51% of small businesses have no cybersecurity measures at all.
- The average annual loss of cyberattacks on a small business is around $25,000.
- More than one-fifth of small businesses have raised their cybersecurity spending.
- The average cost of cyber insurance for a small business is $1,200 per year.
Top Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics in 2024
1. Almost Half of The Cyberattacks Were Targeted Against Small Businesses with Less than 1,000 Employees.
According to a report by Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations, around 46% of the total cyberattacks are targeted against businesses with less than 1,000 employees.
However, the percentage of businesses has increased over the past few years.
Moreover, another study reveals that the percentage went high from 34% of small businesses attacked in 2014 to 43% in 2015.
Some factors that make small businesses an easy target to cybercrime include fewer security protections and the opportunity to receive from multiple businesses simultaneously.
Also, most of these cyberattacks are left unreported and don’t attract media attention.
As a result, hackers are more likely to attack a business with less than 1000, to be precise.
(Source: Li Herald)
2. The Most Common Type of Cyberattack for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Is Malware.
According to a recent survey conducted in 2023 by Intuit Quickbooks, small businesses are the main focus of malware attacks, comprising 18% of all targeted incidents.
Phishing attempts rank second with 17% of attacks, followed by data breaches at 16%, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks at 12%, and malware incidents at 10%.
The survey, which involved more than 1,000 Small and mid-size business owners, also revealed that most businesses (62%) had experienced at least one cyberattack in the past year.
Among those targeted, 44% suffered financial losses as a direct consequence of the attacks.
(Source: Intuit Quickbooks)
3. 82% of The Ransomware Was Asked Against Small Businesses.
Ransomware is the most dangerous malware type that encrypts a victim’s files/data and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.
Since small businesses are often seen as easier targets than large corporations, they mostly target such organizations.
In fact, as per reports, around 82% of the ransomware was asked at small businesses. Moreover, 37% of ransomware was targeted at businesses with less than 100 employees.
One of the most common break-in methods in such types of cyberattacks includes RDP compromise through user passwords.
4. Around 88% of Small Business Owners Believe Their Businesses Are Susceptible to Cyberattacks.
Although most small business owners know they are most likely to be the target of a cyberattack, not all can take preventive measures.
In fact, most owners can’t afford professional IT services, while others need more time to improve their cybersecurity.
Many small business owners are concerned because only a few take the necessary steps to protect their systems from phishing and other cyberattacks.
As a result, it’s not surprising that approximately 88% of small business owners believe they are susceptible to a cyberattack.
5. 72% of Small Businesses only Get Cyber Insurance After Encountering a Cyberattack or Learning About Such Incidents.
The majority, accounting for 72%, of small businesses tend to acquire cyber insurance only after they have personally encountered a cyberattack or become aware of similar incidents affecting their industry.
That’s mainly because small businesses consider cyber insurance optional compared to other types of insurance coverage, such as general commercial liability or workers’ compensation insurance.
However, buying cyber insurance becomes more compelling and urgent for small businesses when they experience the harmful consequences of a cyber attack themselves.
(Source: Advisor Smith)
6. Only 36% of Small Business Owners Are Familiar with Cyber Insurance.
According to various cybersecurity statistics, only 36% of small businesses are familiar with cyber insurance.
That is, around 64.2% are not informed about cyber insurance.
Among them, 25.3% admitted to not knowing what cyber insurance is, while 38.9% were unsure about what cyber insurance covers.
It indicates that the adoption of cyber insurance among small businesses is still in its early stages.
However, as cyber attackers increasingly target smaller businesses, the need for cyber insurance will become more prevalent in the future.
(Source: Advisor Smith)
7. New Cyber Breaches in Small Businesses Increased by 424% Last Year.
Last year, the rate of cyber attacks on small businesses skyrocketed by an alarming 424%; yes, you read it right.
It implies that the number of cyber breaches experienced by small businesses increased more than fivefold compared to the previous year.
Surprisingly, it appears that cybercriminals are now focusing their attention on small businesses rather than the larger ones.
Although one might assume that larger businesses with more customer data and higher revenues would be the primary targets, the reality seems to be different.
(Source: GNP Brokerage)
8. 47% of Businesses with Less than 50 Employees Have No Budget for Cybersecurity.
A recent survey conducted in late 2022 revealed that businesses tend to allocate more funds toward cybersecurity as they grow in size.
The study found that nearly half of companies (47% to be exact) with less than 50 employees didn’t have any dedicated budget for cybersecurity.
However, on the other hand, 35% of businesses with 50 to 249 employees lacked such a budget, and the percentage further dropped to 18% for companies with over 250 employees.
It shows that the larger the business is, the more they are likely to have a budget for cybersecurity.
Other Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics
9. 51% of Small Businesses Have No Cybersecurity Measures at All.
A recent survey conducted in March 2023 reveals that 42% of businesses had already implemented various cybersecurity measures to safeguard their assets.
Such small businesses are smart enough to recognize the importance of protecting their sensitive information and systems from potential threats.
However, 51% of them admitted that they have no cybersecurity measures at all.
Moreover, it revealed that 21% of the small businesses were actively engaged in developing cybersecurity plans.
And a notable portion, comprising 7% of such business owners, expressed that they are uncertain regarding their company’s security posture.
These businesses need additional support or guidance to enhance their security measures effectively.
10. Around 23% of Small Businesses Suffered at Least One Cyberattack.
Small businesses face a significant threat in the form of cyberattacks. In the year 2022, a concerning 23% of these businesses fell victim to at least one cyber attack.
The causes of such cyberattacks are far-reaching and can result in severe consequences.
Financially, they can cause substantial losses, draining resources that could have been allocated to growth and development.
Moreover, the damage extends beyond monetary implications, as cyberattacks can tarnish the reputation of a small business.
11. the Average Annual Loss of Cyberattacks on A Small Business Is Around $25,000.
Cyberattacks can be really costly for small businesses. On average, these attacks cause a loss of around $25,000 a year.
That’s a significant amount of money for a small business to handle.
Moreover, they even target your business’s sensitive information, steal customer data, or even disrupt your operations.
In fact, the consequences can be devastating, leading to financial loss, damage to your reputation and customer trust.
Therefore, it’s important for small businesses to take cybersecurity seriously by implementing strong measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, regular software updates, employee training, and data backups.
12. More than One-Fifth of Small Businesses Have Raised Their Cybersecurity Spending.
A significant number of small business owners prioritize their cybersecurity by allocating more funds to protect themselves from cyber threats.
Specifically, 22% of them increased their cybersecurity budgets.
Additionally, 67% maintained their spending levels, indicating a sustained commitment to safeguarding their businesses.
The other 11% were either in the process of assessing changes in their spending or had reduced the amount allocated to cybersecurity.
The small business cybersecurity stats indicate the growing awareness among SMB owners regarding the importance of investing in cybersecurity measures.
(Source: Pennyrile Technologies)
13. About 66% of Small Businesses Are Concerned About Cybersecurity Risk.
A study reveals that a significant majority of small-scale businesses, about 66%, express varying (either a little or extreme) degrees of concern when it comes to cyber security risks.
It is not surprising to see such a high level of concern among two-thirds of small business owners.
However, we really hope that the remaining third, who currently don’t share this concern, somehow come across this information and realize how significant and valuable cybersecurity is for a small business.
In fact, it clearly demonstrates that small business cybersecurity is a critical aspect that demands attention.
14. 47% of Small Business Owners Have No Idea How To Protect Their Businesses Against Cyberattacks.
Setting up cyber security protocols can be a daunting task for many businesses, especially smaller ones.
No doubt, a significant portion of small business owners, approximately 47%, admit to having no clue about how to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
While limited resources certainly contribute to the lack of preparedness among small businesses, it is equally important to acknowledge the role played by insufficient information.
However, many small business owners struggle to find the right guidance and knowledge to establish effective cybersecurity measures.
(Source: Keeper Security)
15. 75% of Small Businesses Reveal that They Don’t Have the Proper Personnel to Address IT Security.
According to a report, 75% of small businesses lack the necessary personnel to address IT security, making it the primary pain point when attempting to establish cybersecurity protocols.
In fact, despite prioritization of cybersecurity and having allocated budgets, small businesses face challenges in finding suitable personnel to fill this crucial role.
Hence, the shortage of skilled and knowledgeable personnel remains a significant hurdle for small businesses, which hinders their ability to handle cybersecurity responsibilities effectively.
(Source: Keeper Security)
16. Approximately 22% of Small Businesses Encrypt Their Databases.
22% of small businesses prioritize data encryption for their databases.
However, it is essential to understand why less than a quarter of them choose to encrypt their data.
The reasons behind this can be attributed to the same factors that hinder small businesses from fully embracing cybersecurity.
Moreover, they lack the knowledge and understanding of encryption techniques, coupled with limited resources to acquire the necessary expertise or hire any professional who can implement encryption measures.
(Source: GNP Brokerage)
17. On Average, a Small Business Pays a Ransom of Only $5900.
Small businesses are often targeted by ransomware attacks because they are more likely to pay the ransom.
In 2022, the average ransom paid by small businesses was around $5,900.
It is a significant amount of money for a small business, and also it can be quite difficult to recover from such damage.
Ransom payments not only drain financial resources but also perpetuate the cycle of cybercriminal activities.
It is crucial for small businesses to focus on preventive measures, such as robust cybersecurity protocols and employee education, to lower the risk of falling victim to such attacks.
18. The Average Cost of Cyber Insurance for A Small Business Is $1,200 per Year.
In case you don’t know, cyber insurance is a form of insurance that covers businesses against the financial losses that can result from a cyberattack.
It has become quite important for small businesses, with the average cost amounting to $1,200 per year.
Small businesses can gain a level of financial security by paying this annual premium, knowing that they have coverage in case of cyber incidents.
However, the cost of cyber insurance is influenced by various factors, such as the size of the business, its industry, and the level of risk exposure.
(Source: The GCE)
19. Around 54% of Small Businesses Have No Plan in Place for Reacting to Cyberattacks.
Some small business cybersecurity stats reveal that more than 50% of small businesses lack a prepared plan for responding to cyberattacks.
According to a report, around 54% of them haven’t yet proactively established a strategy for effectively managing potential cyber threats.
It underscores the importance of preparedness in the face of evolving cyber risks.
So, small businesses must recognize the significance of having a comprehensive plan in place to swiftly and effectively respond to cyberattacks.
(Source: Insurance Bee)
20. Experts Suggest that Small Businesses Allocate at Least 3% of Their Total Spending to Their Cybersecurity Budget.
Experts strongly advise businesses to allocate at least 3% of their total spending towards cybersecurity.
So, if a business falls short of this recommended threshold, it means that the company is either underspending or completely neglecting a crucial aspect of cybersecurity.
That’s bad for a business model because investing less than the recommended amount can leave it vulnerable to cyberattacks and compromise the ability to protect its assets and data effectively.
(Source: Black Stratus)
How Much Does a Data Breach Cost a Small Business?
The cost of a data breach for a small business can vary significantly depending on the type of business, the damage caused, and the type of data stolen.
However, on average, it is estimated to be $44,000.
What Are the Consequences of Not Having Adequate Cybersecurity Measures in Place?
Although people think the consequences of not having adequate cybersecurity measures involve only financial loss, that’s not true.
Along with financial losses, a small business also suffers legal liabilities.
Moreover, another worst consequence is that it loses its customers’ trust, damaging its reputation.
What Industries Are Most Vulnerable to Cyberattacks in 2023?
The healthcare industry is one of the most targeted industries in 2023.
The sector faces high vulnerability with its storage of sensitive personal and medical data.
In fact, cybercriminals focus on healthcare organizations, launching attacks like ransomware, phishing, and data breaches.
Cyberattacks continue to be a growing concern for small businesses.
In fact, the cost of ransom and data breach incidents can be significant for a small business.
Therefore, it’s important for them to understand how important it is to invest in cybersecurity measures.
So, we’ve mentioned some important small business cybersecurity statistics to help you understand better.