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Cybersecurity incidents targeting SMBs are down, study finds


The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, has published its second annual report on the impacts of identity crimes and cyberattacks on small businesses and solopreneurs – the 2022 Business Impact Report.

For the report, the ITRC surveyed 447 small business owners, leaders and employees to explore the impacts of cybercrimes on small businesses (see the “About the ITRC 2022 Business Impact Report” section below for more information). According to the responses, cybersecurity incidents targeting small businesses increased by 61 percent during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, but have dropped slightly in the past 12 months. Less than half (45 percent) of small businesses reported a security breach, data breach, or both, down from the 58 percent that reported a cybercrime in the 2021 report.

Some of the other key takeaways from the 2022 Business Impact Report include:

Overall, more than 45 percent of small businesses lost revenue due to a cybercrime. Generally, small businesses lost less money as a result of a cyber incident in the last year, with one key exception – victims of social media account takeover. (Companies paying less than $250K grew by 11 percentage points; businesses paying $250K-$500K dropped six (6) points over the previous year.)

However, 50 percent of small businesses surveyed reported losing control of a social media account to a cybercriminal, with 87 percent of the victims losing revenue generated by the account. More than one-third (34 percent) of victims lost between $1,000 and $10,000.

Fewer small businesses reported experiencing a data breach in the past 12 months (23 percent), a two (2) percentage point decrease from 2021. However, the number of small businesses reporting a first-time breach jumped 17 points from 2021.

Nearly 30 percent of small businesses lost customer trust and had difficulty responding to customer concerns.

More than 40 percent of small businesses struggled to understand what happened and why it happened.