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Businesses unprepared, as cyber-attacks grow

The cyber-security situation among UK firms has probably never been this bad. According to a new report by Circle Research, 78 per cent of firms in the country have experienced an increase in cyber-attacks in the past 12 months.

The people leading these companies also said they expect the attacks to grow even further.

Last year, 64 per cent of companies experienced some type of cyber-attack, with 42 per cent having more than one in the year. Thirteen per cent have experienced 10 or more separate incidents in the same period.

The report says there are four most common types of cyber-attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS – 21 per cent), patch exploitation (26 per cent), Trojans (32 per cent) and phishing attacks (57 per cent), with the final two being particularly dangerous for businesses.

Twenty-three per cent of polled businesses said they ‘may have lost customer data’ while being attacked.

Andrew Dalglish, Director of Circle Research, said: “Last year the government estimated that average cost of severe online security breaches for big business had more than doubled to an enormous £1.46 million. Not only are security breaches becoming more lucrative for attackers, research highlights that the weakest link in many businesses security system often comes from within. Intentional or not, the very people working for a business can pose the biggest threat to its security and the security of customer data.”

IT security experts advise businesses to educate their employees on the dangers of phishing and cyber-attacks in general, as the human factor is still the biggest threat.