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Cyber-attacks cost UK businesses £34bn last year

Last year (from March 31 2015 to March 31 2016), cybersecurity incidents had cost companies in the UK more than £34 billion in various types of damages. Malware alone had cost the £7.5bn, while data theft incidents made them pay £6.2bn. This is according to a new report by Beaming, which was based on a poll of 500 UK business leaders. Out of that number, 13 per cent claimed their IT infrastructure was damaged by a virus in the last 12 months. 

The cost of this compromise was £10,516 both in time and money spent managing the incidents.  Seven per cent admitted being attacked by hackers, an incident which costs, on average, £16,264.  All of this has made almost a quarter (22 per cent) of business leaders ‘highly concerned’ about viruses, and 18 per cent with data theft. There have been investments in ‘extensive measures’ to combat the threat, the report claims. Large companies are most afraid of hackers. The UK government announced a ‘world-class strategy’ to combat the problem, promising the UK will become the ‘safest place in the world to do business’. Almost £2 billion will be invested in the new strategy. More details about it can be found here.  

Commenting on the events, Beaming’s managing director, Sonia Blizzard said it was a good move, but that the government can’t guarantee firms their digital safety. 

 “We welcome the government’s focus on making the internet a more secure, positive and prosperous environment for businesses. Its commitment to fighting cybercrime is good news but it doesn’t guarantee our safety. It is a work in progress and the private sector needs to take responsibility here.” 

“We don't want to give businesses a false sense of security here. The number of specialist investigators seems low given the size of the threat and we need clarity around the reporting of cybercrime if we are to have faith in anything being done.  

“The onus is on businesses to protect themselves. The biggest threat of all is human and all employees are responsible for data security, not just the IT department. Employees clicking on compromised links are a common cause of problems and ransomware is so sophisticated now that this can cause real issues very quickly.

“We are seeing an arms race between businesses that rely on the internet and those who use it for malicious purposes. Companies need to recognise this, understand where their data is kept and take steps to secure it.” 

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Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.