Cyber Attacks on the rise

Cyber Attacks on the rise

Research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), suggested that the number of cyber attacks hitting businesses has increased over the last year.

The Information Security Breaches Survey found some attacks caused more than £1m of damage. The survey showed 87% of small firms experienced a security breach last year, up 10% on the previous year. The survey showed that 93% of large organisations had also been targeted.

For the report in full, click here.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Keeping electronic information safe and secure is vital to a business’s bottom line. Companies are more at risk than ever of having their cyber security compromised, in particular small businesses, and no sector is immune from attack. But there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the majority of incidents. The package of support we are announcing… will help small businesses protect valuable assets like financial information, websites, equipment, software and intellectual property, driving growth and keeping UK businesses ahead in the global race.”

The research showed that:

  • 87% of small firms experienced a security breach in 2012.
  • 93% of large organisations were also targeted.
  • Affected companies experienced around 50% more attacks on average than in 2011.
  • Affected companies experienced around 50% more attacks on average than in 2011.
  • The average number of breaches suffered by small businesses was 17, costing between £35,000 and £65,000.
  • The average number of breaches for large organisations was 113, costing between £450,000 and £850,000. Several individual breaches cost over £1 million.
  • 78% of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider and 63% of small businesses, up from 73% and 41% respectively a year ago.
  • 78% of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider and 63% of small businesses, up from 73% and 41% respectively a year ago.
  • 81% of respondents reported that senior management had not been able to put in place effective security, even though it was classed as a high priority. 84% of large businesses report staff-related cyber breaches (the highest figure ever recorded.) These breaches were reported by 57% of small businesses (up from 48% a year ago).

To help guard against these attacks, which can cost a small business up to 6% of its turnover, the Government is offering further funding and guidance. The Technology Strategy Board has extended a scheme to allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bid for up to £5,000 to improve their cyber security. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills is also publishing a guide to help small businesses improve their cyber security and make it part of their business risk management process.

 

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