What would a cyber-attack really cost you?

piggybank demonstrating cyber-attack costs

Would a cyber-attack on your business really be such a big deal? 

According to the annual government’s cyber security breaches survey 2021

  • 39% of businesses reported a cyber security attack or breach in 2020 (and 26% of charities). 
  • Nearly half of those businesses reported an attack occurring at least once a month. 

Most of those attacks don’t have a negative impact, but for those that do, the costs can be large: 

  • The average cost of all cyber-attacks on businesses of all sizes is £2,670. 
  • The average cost of those cyber-attacks that do have a negative impact on businesses is £8,460. 

The cost of an attack on a big company is typically larger than that on a small company (or on a charity), but the numbers vary, and are very hard to measure. 

But what does this really mean for you? 

Direct and indirect costs of a cyber-attack 

The table below outlines some of the short term and longer-term effects that a cyber-attack could have on a business. These range from immediate loss of money due to theft, to the effect that the bad publicity could have on your business’ reputation.

Short Term

Direct costs

Payments to consultants or contractors to fix the problem

Payments to the attackers

Money that the attackers stole

Indirect costs

Staff time investigating or fixing the problem

Cost of staff time when they were unable to do their jobs

Cost of staff time dealing with complaints

Value of lost files or intellectual property

Cost of any devices or equipment that needed replacing, or of changing service providers

Increase to insurance premiums

Customer loss, including potential future customers

Loss of funding sources, such as investors, donors, reduction in share value

Notification costs (to customers and to authorities

Long Term

Payments to consultants or contractors to run audits, conduct risk assessments or provide training

New or upgraded software or systems

Legal fees

Insurance excess



PR costs related to brand damage

It’s worth noting that the costs incurred in the aftermath of a cyber-attack tend to be larger than the immediate direct cost. 

So, what do you think? 

If you’d like some guidance on how to mitigate the risk of an attack on your organisation, please call Click and Protect on 0113 733 6230 to talk about your business, and how we could help you protect it.