Survey highlights retail’s risk of cyber attack

New research has revealed that almost half of surveyed UK businesses experienced some form of cyberattack last year, providing a timely reminder of the threats posed by cyber criminals.

The findings were part of Hiscox’s Threat Ranking Table, which uses data from the latest Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report to identify which industries are most at risk of a cyberattack. Now in its sixth year, the report rates the comparative cyber risk levels of 9001 UK businesses across a number of sectors.

Retail and Wholesale were ranked second most at risk sector in the UK, with a score of 43 according to The Hiscox Threat Ranking. Scores can range from 7-70, with 7 being the lowest risk and 70 being the highest. The risk score is based on how optimistic business leaders are about their ability to deal with future cyberattacks. It takes into account several factors, including the number and cost of cyber events faced by surveyed firms within each of the sectors.

The travel and leisure, retail and wholesale, and business services industries were the top three sectors most at risk in the UK. Possible explanations for these rankings include: changes in behaviour precipitated by multiple lockdowns, increased online purchases, work from home mandates and international travel bans.

Almost half of surveyed UK businesses across all sectors (44%) reported having had one or more cyberattack in the last 12 months, with a median annual loss of £21,097 per company due to cyber incidents. Larger businesses were subject to the most attacks; 63% of UK businesses with more than 1000 employees experienced a cyber incident of some kind. These same firms suffered the most severe financial losses as a result, with companies reporting median financial costs of £50,000 – more than double the UK average.


UK cyber threat statistics

  • Only 28% of UK businesses said reviewing cyber policies and procedures was a top spending priority for the next 12 months.
  • 42% of UK firms do not have a dedicated cyber security role.

Gareth Wharton, Hiscox UK Cyber CEO, commented: “The last year has presented significant cyber security risks for UK businesses, with essential industries being subject to the highest risks, according to our threat ranking table. We know that this threat isn’t limited to particular countries, and while it’s evident that UK businesses are continuously investing in cyber defences, it’s important that increased investment continues to prevent grave financial losses.”

A full copy of The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2022 and the Threat Ranking Table can be accessed at



Check Also

Wilko collapse takes retail job losses to 100,000 since 2020

The 12,500 jobs at risk from Wilko’s collapse is set to take the number of …