16 May 2019
New statistics published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have shown a reduction in the percentage of businesses suffering a cyber breach or attack in the last year.
It found that 32 per cent of businesses identified a cybersecurity attack in the last 12 months - down from 43 per cent the previous year and nearly a 25 per cent drop.
However, of those businesses that did suffer attacks, the typical median number of breaches rose from four in 2018 to six in 2019.
As a result, businesses and charities suffering cyber-attacks and breaches appeared to experience more attacks than in previous years. Where a breach resulted in a loss of data or assets, the average cost of a cyber-attack on a business went up by more than £1,000 since 2018 to £4,180.
Paolo Sartori, managing director at tech specialist TransWorldCom, said the survey may show that the number of cyber-attacks as a whole are down, but those companies and networks who are being targeted are facing breaches and attacks with an increasing frequency.
“It is imperative that network managers and IT executives across all industries learn from any mistakes made after their data system has been penetrated,” Sartori told Networking+.
“The key for all managers is to make sure that they provide a thorough education for all of their employees regarding data protection. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and it only takes one employee to use a malware infested USB stick or to download an illegitimate attachment from a phishing email for a whole system to be breached.”
He added that businesses, including networks, often overlook updating their cyber security and data systems out of fear that there will be a decrease in productivity whilst systems are being renewed.
“However, Sartori warned that productivity will be severely affected if there is a data breach or if a system is hacked.
“The 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey has shown that those networks and companies who are facing breaches are paying vast sums for it,” he added. “These sums could be hugely exacerbated if GDPR is also breached, the penalty for which currently stands at €20 million or four per cent of your company’s revenue. Not only is it good practice to ensure that your network’s security is up to date and efficient, but failing to do so could result in your business suffering huge financial losses.”