Security minister Tom Tugendhat has revealed that cyber hacked businesses each ended up £15,000 out of pocket.
In a speech in Belfast as the province celebrated 25 years since the historic Good Friday agreement Mr Tugendhat laid bare stark statistics facing commercial enterprises.
He told the CYBERUK Conference: “A quick look at the basic figures is enough to bring home the scale and severity of the issue we face.
Cyber Security Breaches Survey
“New findings released just yesterday from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey show that 32% of businesses experienced at least one cyber breach in the last 12 months.
“This year, for the first time, the survey also tells us how many of these breaches resulted in a cybercrime being committed.
“We can now estimate that 11% of businesses were victim to at least one cybercrime. That cost each of them around £15,000 in the past year.”
He said sight must not be lost there being human victim behind each figure.
Mr Tiugendhat added: “Each is a grandparent defrauded, and stripped of their savings.
Each is a small business held to ransom, and jobs lost. Each is public money stolen, and the taxpayer short-changed.
The cyber-threat doesn’t just come from criminals. The ongoing war in Ukraine is a constant reminder of the threat we face from hostile actors.
“Russia has been trying to invade Ukraine’s cyberspace as much as its physical space, threatening critical information, critical services, and critical infrastructure.”