Craig Pepper
January 17, 2024
6 Min

Cyber Attacks Only Happen to Large Businesses

Contrary to popular belief, cyber attacks are not exclusive to large corporations. Businesses of all sizes face cyber threats. This article aims to debunk myths and highlight how organisations can defend themselves against cyber risks. 

Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses

Despite a common misconception, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are frequent targets of cyber attacks. A significant portion of these businesses face various threats, challenging the notion that cybercriminals only target large corporations.

According to a recent study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), 43% of SMEs in the UK have experienced a cyber attack in the past year. The study also found that the average cost of a cyber attack for an SME is £10,000.

There are a number of reasons why SMEs are vulnerable to cyber attacks:

First, SMEs often have limited resources to invest in cybersecurity. 

Second, SMEs may not have the same level of security expertise as large corporations. 

Third, SMEs may be more likely to fall victim to phishing and other social engineering attacks.

The consequences of a cyber attack can be devastating for an SME. A cyber attack can lead to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. In some cases, a cyber attack can even force an SME to close its doors.

It is important for SMEs to take steps to protect themselves from cyber attacks. These steps include:

  • Investing in cybersecurity software and hardware
  • Training employees on cybersecurity best practices
  • Implementing strong security policies and procedures
  • Keeping software up to date
  • Being vigilant for phishing and other social engineering attacks

By taking these steps, SMEs can reduce their risk of a cyber attack and protect their businesses from the devastating consequences of a breach.

Industries at Risk

The healthcare sector is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, followed closely by finance, government, and retail. Each industry faces unique cybersecurity challenges that require specialised solutions.


The healthcare sector is a prime target for cyber attacks due to the sensitive data it holds, including patient records, financial information, and intellectual property. Healthcare organisations are often understaffed and underfunded when it comes to cybersecurity, making them easy prey for attackers.


The financial sector is another high-value target for cyber attacks. Financial institutions hold vast amounts of sensitive data, including credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and account balances. A successful cyberattack on a financial institution could have a devastating impact on its customers and the wider economy.


Government organisations are also a popular target for cyber attacks. Governments hold a wealth of sensitive data, including personal information about citizens, military secrets, and intellectual property. A successful cyberattack on a government organisation could have a significant impact on national security and public safety.


Retail organisations are increasingly becoming targets for cyber attacks. Retailers collect a large amount of customer data, including credit card numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. A successful cyberattack on a retailer could lead to a data breach, which could damage the retailer's reputation and cost them millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Each industry faces unique cybersecurity challenges that require specialised solutions. For example, healthcare organisations need to focus on protecting patient data, financial institutions need to focus on protecting financial data, and government organisations need to focus on protecting national security data. Retail organisations need to focus on protecting customer data and preventing data breaches.

By understanding the unique cybersecurity challenges facing each industry, organisations can take steps to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Why Small UK Businesses Are Targeted

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small businesses due to a number of factors, including:

  • Lack of security sophistication: Small businesses often have less sophisticated security measures in place than larger organisations. This makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  • Valued data: Small businesses often hold valuable data, such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property. This data can be a lucrative target for cybercriminals.
  • Lack of resources: Small businesses may lack the resources to implement comprehensive cyber defenses. This can make them more vulnerable to attacks.

In addition to these factors, cybercriminals may also target small businesses because they believe they are less likely to report cyberattacks. This is because small businesses may be unaware of the need to report cyberattacks, or they may be reluctant to report them due to concerns about negative publicity.

The impact of a cyberattack on a small business can be devastating. In addition to financial losses, cyberattacks can also lead to damage to a business's reputation, loss of customer trust, and disruption to operations.

There are a number of steps that small businesses can take to protect themselves from cyber attacks, including:

  • Implementing strong security measures: Small businesses should implement strong security measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.
  • Educating employees about cybersecurity: Small businesses should educate their employees about cybersecurity risks and best practices.
  • Backing up data regularly: Small businesses should back-up their data regularly in case of a cyberattack.
  • Having a plan in place for responding to cyberattacks: Small businesses should have a plan in place for responding to cyberattacks, including steps for containing the attack, restoring data, and notifying law enforcement.

By taking these steps, small businesses can help to protect themselves from the growing threat of cyber attacks.

Cyber Attack Frequency

The frequency of cyber attacks is a growing concern for businesses and organisations of all sizes. In 2021, there were over 623 million cyber attacks worldwide, a 12% increase from the previous year. This trend is expected to continue, with experts predicting that the number of cyber attacks will reach 1 billion by 2025.

The frequency of cyber attacks is due to a number of factors, including:

  • The increasing sophistication of cyber criminals
  • The growing number of connected devices
  • The lack of cybersecurity awareness among businesses and individuals

The impact of cyber attacks can be devastating, resulting in financial losses, data breaches, and reputational damage. In some cases, cyber attacks can even lead to physical harm.

To protect themselves from cyber attacks, businesses and organisations need to take a number of steps, including:

  • Investing in robust cybersecurity solutions
  • Educating employees about cybersecurity risks
  • Implementing strong security policies and procedures

By taking these steps, businesses and organisations can help to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect their data, systems, and reputations.

In addition to the steps listed above, businesses and organisations can also take the following steps to help reduce the frequency of cyber attacks:

  • Use strong passwords and security practices
  • Keep software up to date
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
  • Monitor their networks for suspicious activity
  • Have a plan in place to respond to cyber attacks

By following these tips, businesses and organisations can help to make themselves less of a target for cyber criminals and reduce the frequency of cyber attacks.

How Periculo Can Help

Periculo offers a range of services tailored to businesses of all sizes, ensuring they are equipped to defend against cyber threats. These include:

Penetration Testing: Customizable tests to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in your organization.

Cyber Essentials: Basic protection against common cyber threats, demonstrating commitment to cybersecurity.

ISO 27001 Compliance: Support to secure information and achieve peace of mind.

Medical Device Security: Specialized consulting for the protection of medical devices.

NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT): Ensuring compliance and security in healthcare-related data handling.

Supplier Assurance: Safeguarding the supply chain from cyber threats.

FREE Partnership 

Periculo also offers a FREE partnership which includes training and resources, including threat reports, security wikis, and FREE quarterly vulnerability scans, to help businesses stay informed and prepared against cyber risks.

The threat of cyber attacks is real and present for businesses of all sizes. By understanding the risks and employing services like those offered by Periculo, businesses can significantly improve their cybersecurity posture and protect their valuable data and operations from cyber threats.

Read similar blogs