Almost 50 percent of Cyprus’ businesses experienced a cyberattack in the past year, with half of them paying an average of €27,000, the digital security authority revealed on Thursday, following two studies on cybersecurity.

At the same time, 53 per cent of residents were on the receiving end of a hack, with an average of 25.9 cyberattacks per year. This marks a 25 per cent increase since last year, the authority specified.

Of those who were hacked, 19 per cent paid out an average of €141.

Even though cyberattacks against individuals went up, the average cost of the hacks decreased by €177.

“This is likely due to the increased ability of citizens to recognise scams,” which is up by 9 per cent, the research revealed.

The most common cyberattack members of the public receive is phishing.

In the business sector, 49 per cent were on the receiving end of a cyberattack in the past 12 months, averaging one attack per week – marking a notable increase compared to last year.

Of those businesses which were hacked, 46 per cent incurred a financial cost, averaging €27,000 – an increase of €4,000 from the previous year.

The most common form of attack is phishing, which has increased 43 per cent since the previous year.

Almost half of businesses (46 per cent) were not aware of seminars available on cybersecurity. Only 17 per cent participated in them, and those took action to strengthen their security measures.

On average, businesses invested about €11,000 per year in cybersecurity services and tools.

The two studies were conducted simultaneously between October and December 2023, with 1,006 citizens and 444 businesses from a range of industries and services participating.