The State Of Cybersecurity among Small Businesses in North America

Image courtesy of MGN Online

Image courtesy of MGN Online

Cyber-attacks cost businesses more than US$400 billion per year and affect one in four small businesses, and yet most small businesses believe it will not happen to them.

In keeping with the Better Business Bureaus’ (BBB) mission to advance marketplace trust for all, the idea behind “The State of Cyber Security Among Small Businesses in North America” was born. In 2016, BBB began ongoing research with a poll of 2,000 consumers and a survey of more than 1,500 businesses in the U.S. and Canada to learn about the state of cyber security among small businesses.

This report provides insight into cyber security risks and practices, dispels common cyber security misconceptions, demonstrates the importance consumers place on cyber security, and provides a road map for cyber security education and awareness programs to protect smaller businesses and their customers.

Here are key points from this report.

  • Cyber security is an enormous threat to the global economy. It is estimated this crime will reach over $2 trillion (US) by 2019.
  • Small Businesses are aware of the range of cyber security dangers – and yet they feel safe.
  • The average financial loss for small businesses under cyber-attack is $4,400; some have lost as much as $150,000.
  • Small businesses experience cyber-attacks at an alarming rate. In just the last 12 months one in four small businesses (fewer than 25 employees) were attacked.
  • Cyber security is a complex topic and one that is fast becoming a critical, foundational practice for every business, large or small.
  • BBB’s survey findings suggest that additional education and awareness efforts focused on smaller businesses are necessary, and would contribute to advancing cyber security practices in this market segment.


To review the full report, go to The State Of Cybersecurity among Small Businesses In North America.

In honor of Cyber Security Month, find out more about the national initiative to “Lock Down Your Login”.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to