A survey carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has revealed that a significant number of UK businesses have been affected by cyber-attacks and breaches over the past 12 months.
Four in ten of all UK businesses experienced a cyber-attack or breach over the past year, the DCMS found.
The survey revealed that the most common attacks involved the sending of fraudulent emails, and criminals impersonating an organisation online. Malware and viruses also proved to be particularly harmful to UK businesses, the DCMS found.
72% of large businesses were subject to an attack, with the cost of all attacks on such firms over the past year totalling £9,260.
According to the survey, large businesses experience an average of 12 attacks per year, whilst medium-sized firms experience six.
Commenting on the survey, Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: ‘We are investing £1.9 billion to protect the nation from cyber threats and I would urge organisations to make the most of free help and guidance available for organisations from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).’
Meanwhile, Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC, stated: ‘Cyber-attacks can inflict serious commercial damage and reputational harm, but most campaigns are not highly sophisticated.
‘Companies can significantly reduce their chances of falling victim by following simple cyber security steps to remove basic weaknesses.’