Government urges businesses to boost cyber standards

New statistics from the annual DCMS Cyber security breaches survey has revealed the extent to which UK organisations are being attacked by malicious actors

A new report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) shows cyber attacks are becoming more frequent with organisations reporting more breaches over the last 12 months.

Almost one in three businesses (31%) and a quarter (26%) of charities suffering attacks said they now experience breaches or attacks at least once a week.

The data also shows two in five businesses use a managed IT provider but only 13% review the security risks posed by their immediate suppliers. 

In light of these new findings, the government is urging businesses and charities to strengthen their cyber security practices now as new figures show the frequency of cyber attacks is increasing.

No business is safe from threat actors 

The annual survey of UK businesses, charities and education institutions found that around two in five (39%) companies and roughly a third (30%) of charities experienced breaches or attacks in the past 12 months. This is a similar proportion to that reported in last year’s survey. One in five businesses (20%) and charities (19%) admitted they experienced a negative outcome as a direct consequence of a cyber-attack.

Of the 39% of businesses that identified attacks, by far the most common threat vector was phishing (83%). Around one in five (21%) of these firms identified more sophisticated attack types like denial of service, malware or ransomware.

It was found that the average estimated cost of all cyber-attacks was £4200 in the past 12 months. However, for medium and large firms, this cost surged to £19,400.

Rising cyber attacks call for better security 

Following a wave of high-profile attacks over the past year including on Kaseya, Colonial Pipeline and Microsoft Exchange, there has been increased attention on the cyber security of supply chains and digital services.

Four out of five senior managers (82%) in UK businesses now see cyber security as a ‘very high’ or ‘fairly high’ priority, up from 77% in 2021. This is a significant increase and the highest figure seen in any year of the cyber security breaches survey.

Cyber Minister Julia Lopez said: “It is vital that every organisation take cyber security seriously as more and more business is done online and we live in a time of increasing cyber risk.

“No matter how big or small your organisation is, you need to take steps to improve digital resilience now and follow the free government advice to help keep us all safe online.”

 

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