Cyber security statistics 2020

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Cyber security statistics: Everything you need to know

Posted on 27 April 2021 by Beaming Support

How many cyber attacks did UK businesses experience in 2020?

Which month is the busiest for cyber threats? What kind of apps are most likely to be targeted? How much does falling victim to cyber crime cost a business? Beaming has analysed cyber attacks in real-time targeting thousands of UK-based businesses since the beginning of 2016 to understand their nature and origin better, and now we’re sharing these cyber security statistics.

Each attack represents an attempt – usually automated – to breach a business’s defences and gain access to their network. By knowing how many attacks you’re up against, you can take appropriate action to put in place the cyber protection you need, and they may be helpful in convincing others of the importance of cyber security, too. We’ve brought together cyber security statistics including where cyber attacks originate from and what kind of applications they target to help you decide which areas of your business need most consideration.

How many cyber attacks happen each year?

Each UK business experienced 686,961 attempts (successful or not), on average, to breach their systems in 2020. This number has increased every year since 2016.

Average number of attacks experienced annually by each business, 2016-2020

Average number of attacks experienced annually by each business, 2016-2020

How many cyber attacks have there been since 2016?

According to our cyber security statistics, over the past five years, the average business will have been subjected to over 2,000,000 internet-borne attempts to breach their network.

Which month is busiest for cyber attacks according to Beaming’s cyber security statistics?

In 2020, June was the busiest month for cyber attacks, with each business experiencing 1984 attacks per day.

How many cyber attackers are out there?

The average number of unique IPs carrying out attacks in 2020 was 122,873 each month.

What applications are targeted by cyber attackers?

Internet of Things applications (networked devices such as CCTV cameras, printers & building control systems) were the target of 1 in 10 cyber attacks on UK companies in 2020.

Which applications should we keep an eye on?

Attacks on filesharing applications like DropBox, Google Drive and Hightail doubled in the year between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.

Proportion of attacks targeting different applications, Q1 2020 vs Q2 2021

Which country carried out the most cyber attacks?

IPs registered in China accounted for 12% of the unique IPs used to carry out cyber attacks last year, more than any other country.

Did lockdown affect cyber security statistics?

Between February and April 2020 – the first full month of lockdown in the UK – the average number of daily attacks per business increased by 16%. The threat level has remained high ever since.

How much does cyber crime cost businesses?

Our research report in 2020 revealed that a cyber attack incident costs each business £6,000 in damaged assets, financial penalties and lost productivity.*

How much does cyber crime cost the UK economy?

The damage caused by cyber attacks against UK businesses in 2019 amounted to almost £13 billion.

Does having more employees make you more vulnerable to cyber crime?

In short, yes. According to the same 2020 research mentioned above, the risk of falling victim to a cybercrime increases by 60% when a business takes on its first employee.

Percentage of businesses falling victim to cyber crime since 2015, sorted by business size


*Research carried out by Beaming and Opinium in January 2020

Follow the cyber security statistics, protect your business

Beaming’s Five Years in Cyber Security Report brings together our years of research in the cyber crime domain with our expert advice on protecting your business from the threat. We’ll help you gauge your current level of cyber security then strengthen your defences by explaining the hardware and software you need, as well as the simple measures you and your employees can use to remain alert to cyber threats.

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