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UK cybercrime 'doubled' in last five years

(Image credit: Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou / Shutterstock)

The number of successfully executed cyberattacks against businesses in the United Kingdom has doubled in the last five years, new research has claimed.

A report by Beaming says that a quarter of UK businesses fell victim to cybercriminals last year, most of which were large enterprises. That’s roughly 1.5 million businesses, up from 755,000 back in 2015.

For the past five years, large businesses (those with at least 250 employees) were most at risk, with 87 per cent of the respondents admitting to have been successfully breached in 2019.

Even though large enterprises are considered most at risk, it’s SMBs who experienced the steepest rise in victim rates. Beaming claims almost two thirds (62 per cent) of SMBs got hit last year, up from 28 per cent in 2105.

Cumulatively, the cost of all of these attacks was around £87 billion ($108 billion).

“Cybercrime was one of the first fields to embrace automation, allowing hackers to launch increasingly sophisticated attacks with unprecedented scale and frequency. Businesses of all sizes need to think hard about improving the resilience of their IT and communication systems, to minimise the chances of being breached and the potential impact,” commented Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming.

 “The threat has grown astronomically over the last five years. What used to be seen as a big-business problem has become a serious concern for every company director, manager and IT professional out there. Small businesses are now on the front line in the war against cybercrime. But they haven’t invested in cyber security or employee education at the same rate as their larger counterparts, and they are easier targets as a result.”