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Be Prepared to Up Your Cybersecurity Budget

Recent attacks have caused many large companies to shore up their protections against hackers, which could force small businesses to increase spending in order to keep up.

If you want to adopt cybersecurity measures that keep pace with those of your larger competitors, it's going to cost you.

About 60 percent of large companies across the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Australia have increased their spending on cybersecurity since last year's Target breach, Reuters reports.

The survey, conducted by the British defense company BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, found that U.S. firms in industries such as banking, technology, law, and mining are now spending up to 15 percent of their entire IT budgets on security.

More than 80 percent of survey respondents expect the number of cyberattacks to rise. The loss of customer data ranked as the companies' greatest concern, followed by the loss of trade secrets, reputational damage, and service interruption.

Nearly half of the U.S. companies in the survey said a cyberattack would cost them around $15 million, while 29 percent estimated the cost at more than $75 million. The results suggest that breaches would take an extreme financial toll on smaller companies as well.

The Target breach over the 2013 holiday season claimed 40 million customers' credit and debit card numbers.

The issue of businesses' cybersecurity spending is especially in focus this week at the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco, an event The Wall Street Journal calls "the equivalent of the Detroit auto show for the anti-hacker industry."

How much do you spend on cybersecurity? What aspects of your business are you concerned about protecting? Let us know in the comments section below.

IMAGE: Corbis
Last updated: Feb 26, 2014

WILL YAKOWICZ | Staff Writer | Reporter,

Will Yakowicz is a staff writer for Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and local politics for The Brooklyn Paper and was the editor of Park Slope Patch. He has also reported on the West Bank and Moscow for Tablet Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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