Cybercrime hits 1.5 million UK businesses in 2023

Press Releases

Cybercrime hits 1.5 million UK businesses in 2023

  • Cybersecurity breaches cost UK businesses £30.5 billion last year, 138% more than in 2019
  • Small businesses experience a 42% increase in breaches and see cybercrime costs rise by 396%
  • Cybercrime rates were highest in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South West of England

More than 1.5 million UK businesses fell victim to some form of cybercrime last year at a cost of more than £30.5 billion, according to our new study. The total cost of cybersecurity breaches was 138% higher than Beaming’s £12.8 billion estimate for 2019, when it last surveyed businesses about cybercrime.

Beaming’s latest study, was run by the research consultancy Censuswide, reveals that more than a quarter (27%) of businesses fell victim to cybercrime in 2023. The average cost of an incident, including expenses for replacing IT assets, recovering data and financial penalties, was £5,500.

UK business cybercrime rates and costs – by business size


(1 person)









Proportion of businesses falling victim in 202327%15%57%83%83%82%
Estimated total number of businesses falling victim1.52m632K665k186k31k7k
Cybercrime rate change since 20192%-32%69%42%14%-3%
Average cost of a breach in 2023£5.5k<£1k£12k£45k£98k£176k
Estimated total cost across UK business population £30.5bn£1.1bn£14.4bn£10.0bn£3.6bn£1.4bn
Cybercrime cost change since 2019138%-74%207%396%191%118%

Source: Beaming & Censuswide 2024

Although cybercrime rates declined for the largest (250+ people) and very smallest (one person) businesses, they increased in all SME segments. Small businesses employing between 11 and 50 people experienced the steepest rise in victims (up 42%) and costs (up 396%) between 2019 and 2023.

Sonia Blizzard, Managing Director of Beaming, said: “While large businesses are proving more resilient to cybercrime, the cost of being breached is soaring, and SMEs are being hit harder than ever before. Businesses are investing in training and technology but they’re under sustained attack.  So as the use of technology helps business to grow, the investment in cybersecurity training also needs to be maintained.”

Phishing, the use of deceptive emails, messages, or links to websites designed to trick people into performing actions that would expose a business to a breach, was the most common way companies succumbed to cybercriminals last year. This form of attack claimed 679,000 business victims in 2023.

Beaming’s study shows businesses of all sizes have increased cybersecurity investments. Most employers now provide cybersecurity training, and the adoption of sophisticated tools such as Network Perimeter Firewalls, site-to-site VPN technology and Unified Threat Management devices has also accelerated.

Cybercrime rates were highest in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South West of England, where Beaming’s study indicates over half of businesses fell victim to in 2023.

The cost was steepest in London. Firms here lost £7.1 billion due to breaches in 2023.

Download a copy of Beaming’s report, Price of Insecurity: The Cost of Business Cybercrime in 2023


About Beaming

We’re Beaming, a specialist internet service provider (ISP) for businesses. We’ve been helping organisations across the UK with fast, reliable, and secure voice and data connectivity, as well as managed services, since 2004.

From the resilient and secure network we’ve built, to the choice of tailormade products all supplied with expert service, we provide peace of mind that businesses require.

If you’re looking for a reliable ISP for your business, we’d love to talk.

Join the Beaming email list
and receive future reports direct to your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We take data security very seriously, your details will only be used for Beaming Bulletin emails.