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Almost all UK firms hit with major cyberattacks over past 12 months

(Image credit: Pixabay)

British businesses are facing greater cyber threats than ever before, with firms of all sizes at risk of being shut down by major assaults.

A new report from Tenable found that 96% of UK organisations have experienced what it labels as a "business-impacting cyberattack" in the past 12 months.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of business leaders surveyed for the global report said they had witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of such large-scale cyberattacks over the past two years. 

These attacks often had incredibly damaging effects, with loss of employee data (44%), financial loss or theft (36%) and customer attrition (34%) named as the most common results.

This growth in threats has led many IT bosses to demand more from their security teams, but many also appear to lack basic knowledge themselves. Tenable found that only four out of 10 local security leaders were able to answer the fundamental question, “How secure, or at risk, are we?” with a high level of confidence.

At a global level, fewer than 50% of security leaders said they were framing cybersecurity threats within the context of a specific business risk. This way of thinking did appear to pay off though, as those business-aligned security leaders were found to be eight times more likely to be highly confident in their ability to report on their organisations’ level of security or risk.

“In the future, there will be two kinds of CISO -- those who align themselves directly with the business and everyone else. The only way to thrive in this era of digital acceleration is to bring cyber into every business question, decision and investment,” said Renaud Deraison, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Tenable. 

“We believe this study shows that forward-leaning organisations view cybersecurity strategy as essential to innovation and that when security and the business work hand-in-glove, the results can be transformational.”