DCMS survey reveals cyber crimes on businesses doubled in 2016

A survey from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) revealed that number UK businesses that suffered a cyber attack doubled last year with almost half of firms detecting a breach in 2016,

The figures showed that 46% of companies either suffered from a cyber attack or a breach of their computer systems in 2016 compared to just 24% the year before.


What is particularly significant from the report is the cost of cyber attacks. From the survey of 1,523 British businesses, the average cost per attack was £1,570 for all companies the cost to larger companies rising to £19,600. Larger companies are more prone to attacks with 68% of companies with more than 250 employees 66% of those with between 50 and 249 had been targeted.


The findings revealed that fraudulent emails were the most common attack on UK business, which affected 72% of companies that experienced a problem. Other attacks included viruses and malicious software being downloaded onto companies’ computer systems. Another common attack was employees’ identities being stolen and used in emails or online. Attacks resulted in the temporary loss of files or network access and systems breaking.

Businesses are urged to protect themselves better as reports or high profile breaches and attacks have become regular headlines including Wonga and Talk Talk which resulted in a huge breach of customer’s personal data and the loss millions of pounds.

Ciaran Martin, the chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, urged businesses to treat security risks as a “top priority”.

“The majority of successful cyber attacks are not that sophisticated but can cause serious commercial damage,” Mr Martin said. “By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities.”

A number of breaches are also thought to be much more, as many go unreported. Nevertheless, when GDPR comes into force and companies must report all breaches, we may find the true amount of businesses suffering from cyber attacks.

To find out more about protecting your business, visit GDPR Conference Europe, which aims to help companies gain all the information they need to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May 2018. Speakers include leading experts from organisations such as the ICO, Crown Records Management and Fox Williams LLP.

Join our free-to-attend digital event, Last Thursday in Privacy, addressing data protection, privacy and security challenges including working from home, COVID-19, global regulations and more. Visit https://digital.privsec.info/.

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