According to a new report from Lancaster University, Ccybercrime is costing North Western? businesses £107m every year.
The report also found that smaller businesses are the most vulnerable to hackers, mainly due to size but also as they're unlikely to have robust security measures set in stone.
The North West is said to be most at risk due to the prevalence of SMEs.
Dr Daniel Prince associate director of Security Lancaster said: "This report highlights the growing threat that cybercrime poses for businesses and organisations across the region.
"As technology continually evolves and becomes more prevalent in business and our personal lives, there are more opportunities for criminals, who may not even be in the UK, to steal money, private data, or intellectual property," said Dr Prince. "Business leaders need to take these threats seriously and put security measures in place if individual companies, and the North West as a whole, are to prosper."
The report found that, should businesses invest in cybersecurity measures they could save £70m in losses to the cybercriminals.
Dr Prince added: "Despite the alarming figures that reveal how damaging cybercrime is to our economy the report also highlights that there are business opportunities to grow the cybersecurity sector in the region.
"The report highlights the need for business owners to undertake simple steps to protect their businesses and livelihoods. This provides a very significant market demand for business providing the vital protection to keep our economy on track.
"We have the potential to create an industry worth £100 million in the North West. However, as the report also points out, there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fulfil these roles - we are working on addressing that skills-gap here at Lancaster University, as well as providing support through our academic and research expertise."
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