SecurityWorldMarket

16/05/2017

UK Government urges businesses to guard against cyber attack

London, UK

Businesses large and small are being urged to protect themselves against cyber crime after new Government statistics found nearly half of all UK businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months.  Statistics showed that firms holding personal data are more likely to be attacked and that the most common forms of attack were fraudulent emails, followed by viruses and malware.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 reveals nearly seven in ten large businesses identified a breach or attack, with the average cost to large businesses of all breaches over the period being £20,000 and in some cases reaching millions. The survey also shows businesses holding electronic personal data on customers were much more likely to suffer cyber breaches than those that do not (51 per cent compared to 37 per cent).

The most common breaches or attacks were via fraudulent emails - for example coaxing staff into revealing passwords or financial information, or opening dangerous attachments - followed by viruses and malware, such as people impersonating the organisation online and ransomware.

Businesses also identified these common breaches as their single most disruptive breach, and the vast majority of them could have been prevented using the Government-backed, industry supported Cyber Essentials scheme, a source of expert guidance showing how to protect against these threats.

These new statistics show businesses across the UK are being targeted by cyber criminals every day and the scale and size of the threat is growing, which risks damaging profits and customer confidence.

The Government has committed to investing £1.9 billion to protect the nation from cyber attacks to help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

Business also has a role to play to protect customer data. The government offers free advice, online training and Cyber Essentials and Cyber Aware schemes.

The Cyber Breaches Survey is part of the Government’s five-year National Cyber Security Strategy to transform this country’s cyber security and to protect the UK online. As part of the strategy, the Government recently opened the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ.

One of the key objectives of the NCSC is to increase the UK’s cyberspace resilience by working with and providing expert advice tailored to organisations and businesses in every sector of the UK economy and society.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, said: "UK businesses must treat cyber security as a top priority if they want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the UK’s vibrant digital economy.  The majority of successful cyber attacks are not that sophisticated but can cause serious commercial damage. By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities. Cyber Essentials, technical advice on CiSP and regularly updated guidance on the NCSC website offers companies, big and small, simple steps that can significantly reduce the risk of a successful attack."


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