Skip to main content

40 per cent of UK malware attacks directed at the public sector

Public sector organisations the number one target for malware attacks in the UK according to the new 2015 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR).

Global information security and risk management firm NTT Com Security conducted an analysis of over six billion security attacks last year and included its findings in the report.

Globally, financial services are the number one targeted sector, accounting for 18 per cent of all detected attacks – yet, in the UK, nearly 40 per cent of malware attacks were against public sector organisations.

This is three times more than the next sector, insurance (13 per cent) and nearly five times more than the media and finance sectors, which were both 9 per cent.

“The fact that public sector figures are so high compared to other sectors in the UK is due largely to value of the data that many of these organisations have, which makes them attractive and highly prized targets for malware attacks,” claimed NTT Com Security global product marketing senior director Stuart Reed.

“While the level of threat may vary from organisation to organisation, they all have information that would be of interest to cyber criminals,” he added.

Business And Professional Services Hit Hard

The GTIR also claims that attacks against business and professional services organisations saw a sharp rise this year from 9 per cent to 15 per cent globally. The sector also accounts for 15 per cent of malware observed across the world.

According to NTT Com Security, such businesses are generally seen as much softer than other targets but because of their connection and relationship with much bigger organisations, they become high value targets for attackers.

“It’s interesting that we have seen some campaigns specifically targeting business and professional services,” claimed Reed.

“It’s possible that companies in this sector may not have the equivalent security resources and skills in-house that many other larger companies do, yet they potentially yield high value for attacks as both an end target and a gateway target to strategic partners,” he added.

An infographic of key findings from the study can be seen here.