1 in 7 firms suffers weekly cyberattacks, new figures show

Man in front of computer

Cyberattacks or breaches are now a weekly threat for around one in seven UK businesses, according to new government figures.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020 shows that almost half of businesses (46%) had been a victim in the previous year, and of these around a third (32%) were experiencing attacks at least once a week.

Tim Thurlings of bluedog Security Monitoring says: “The figures show that the number of businesses suffering attacks or breaches is on the rise, after falling for two years in a row. We can expect the figure to rise still further in the year ahead given the sudden switch to homeworking. It is clear that many companies have been taken by surprise and are not fully prepared.

“Key challenges include the employees working on their own laptops or devices over home wi-fi connections, and using insecure video conferencing systems. We also see people posting photos of their new workplace on social media which can provide valuable information to potential attackers.”

The survey, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, reveals how the nature of attacks has changed since 2017, with more businesses reporting phishing attacks (86% of those affected), and fewer reporting viruses or other malware (16%).

The survey reveals that 88% of businesses use malware protection and 83% use firewalls, but only 38% use cybersecurity monitoring.

“Conventional measures such as firewalls and malware protection are no longer sufficient to stop the cybercriminals,” Tim adds. “Companies need to step up their security. Cybersecurity monitoring will detect attackers entering or inside the network so threats can be identified and contained as quickly as possible and damage kept to a minimum.”