An estimated 65,000 attacks are carried out on UK SMEs every day resulting in 4,500 breaches, a report has highlighted.

The report, by financial services and tech recruiter Robert Walters and recruitment data publisher Vacancysoft, highlights the figures which have been produced by insurance firm Hiscox.

It also pointed to Ponemon Institute figures showing the average cost to businesses for each breach is £2.48m.

Yet while UK citizens seem to have become less worried about online threats amid the Covid-19 pandemic – down from 41% in 2019 to 31% in 2020 – and perceived online shopping risks have dropped to 38%, according to the 2020 Unisys Security Index, nevertheless, 44% of UK people would stop using an online company semi-permanently if a cyber breach was uncovered, says the report.

But 48% of medium-to-large businesses are not adequately prepared to support cyber security for staff working from home.

Commenting in TechRound, Darius Goodarzi, Principal Information Security and IT Risk at Robert Walters, said:

“Cyber-attacks rose to an all-time high in the last few years causing a great deal of media attention. As the general public became increasingly aware of personal data and privacy issues, including the introduction of GDPR, cyber security increasingly became a ‘differentiator’ for brands in a market where customers demand more transparency.

“The tech industry has set the tone, with brands such as Apple and Whatsapp putting security at the centre of their marketing message. For e-commerce, on the other hand, the pace at which the sector grew during Covid-19 raises questions as to whether their cyber security has been up to par with the sharp increase in traffic to online sites.

“With consumers being hyper-sensitive about their personal information in a rapidly evolving digital world, e-commerce sites cannot afford to lose the trust of customers in what is becoming a very competitive space.”