UK businesses facing increased cyber attacks with email the prime target

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A recent survey by insurance specialists Hiscox* reports that 55% of companies surveyed had faced an attack compared to 40% last year.

Over 5,400 small, medium and large businesses across western Europe were surveyed and a ‘sharp increase’ in the number of cyber-attacks was reported. The findings from the survey also recorded that UK organisations were particularly unprepared compared to their European counterparts, with lower security budgets.

Cybercriminals are identifying new ways to attack. So, where Ransomware was the primary route, attacks on business email systems have now become more prevalent.

‘These were surprising findings from the survey’, comments AVR International’s Pre-Sales Technical Manager Alistair Russell. ‘With the introduction of the new GDPR Data Protection regulations last year, one would have expected the UK to be more focused on IT security. Many businesses have increased their security awareness procedures and introduced more security solutions to combat the threat, but clearly not enough.’

Cybercriminals have become more adept at developing malware since the days of anti-virus solutions and firewalls. Newer, advanced threat protection solutions are vital to protect access to important information from the wide range of attacks that are launched against a business through its email, web site, mobile devices etc. Fortunately, a number of the latest solutions work automatically. Once set up, they will monitor traffic and usage, using artificial intelligence (AI), to identify, isolate and destroy threats before they can damage vital data or disable a network.

One of the challenges, particularly smaller companies is understanding and installing IT Security technology. There is a fear that if non-technical people try and install software it may affect the performance of the hardware. The other big issue is of course cost. Smaller firms must naturally prioritise spending. Investment in cyber threat protection is seen by some to be a lower priority.  The results from the Hiscox survey suggest that it is now more important than ever. The relatively low cost of cyber protection should be considered when weighed against the value of lost business or reputation and the possibility of fines from the Information Commissioner’s office if found in breach of GDPR.

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    55% of companies surveyed had faced an attack compared to 40% last year.

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