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UK faced millions of cyberattacks last year

security
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Golden Sikorka)

The UK faced millions of Covid-19-related cybersecurity threats last year, but generally managed to mitigate attacks effectively, a new report from Trend Micro claims.

According to the security firm, a total of 16.4 million Covid-19-related threats were recorded last year, with four percent (563,571) identified in the UK.

The US suffered the highest volume of attacks by a significant margin: more than 6.5 million. Germany was second with 2.3 million, and France rounded out the top three with just over one million attacks.

In most cases, attacks took the form of spam messages: emails sent en masse with the goal of tricking victims into clicking a link or downloading an attachment. In some cases, however, these emails also sought to distribute malware.

According to Bharat Mistry, UK Technical Director at Trend Micro, Brits have generally done a good job of staying safe online.

“However, phishing remains a major risk to consumers and businesses alike,“ he said. "With attackers increasingly targeting corporate systems via home networks and users, it’s essential that organisations ensure their remote workers are running secure devices and have the training they need to stay safe.

"SaaS-based threat detection and response platforms are increasingly becoming non-negotiable for organizations in the fight against advanced attacks.”

In total, there was a 20 percent increase in cyberthreats in 2020, compared to the year before. Attacks on home networks became extremely popular after the introduction of lockdowns, surging by 209 percent.

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.