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Govt report: Nearly 50% of UK firms have suffered a cyber attack or breach

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Almost 50% of UK businesses have identified a cybersecurity breach or attack in the past year, according to a new government report.

The Cybersecurity Breaches Survey, published today, shows that cybersecurity continues to be an issue affecting UK businesses of all sizes and operating across all different sectors.

Although the breaches don’t always result in material outcome (loss of data or network access), when this does happen, the attack has a considerable effect on organisations as they are left to deal with financial costs and long-term reputation damage.

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According to the findings, businesses in sectors that may not expect to be targeted are falling victim to costly ransomware attacks, which highlight the inherent value of the data – both personal and financial – held by companies.

The survey results also highlighted certain key audiences for businesses and sectors to focus their efforts on. In addition to having good technical controls and governance in place, the report says it’s important for businesses to raise cybersecurity awareness and education across the whole workforce, not just IT staff.

Additionally, the survey shows that businesses need to consider cybersecurity risks outside of their controlled environments, ie. those posed by their customers or suppliers being breached.

A year on

The news comes after Cybersecurity Breaches Survey last year found that two third of large companies in the UK experienced a cyber breach or attack in the previous 12 months.

At the time, the survey found that the most common attacks detected involved viruses, spyware or malware.

Today’s results also come after a report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) found that devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers, TVs and watches could hold people ransom over their data.

Published last month, the report noted that the cyber threat to UK businesses is “significant and growing” as the rise of internet connected devices gives attackers more opportunity.

 

Interested in cybersecurity? Check out the online version of edition 9 of Tech City News’ popular print magazine – The Cybersecurity Issue – and keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity news here

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