“2018 has been the worst start to a year” with UK hack attacks up 27%

Internet-service provider Beaming urges companies to make cybersecurity a priority as number of online breaches spike, according to new research

“2018 has been the worst start to a year” with UK hack attacks up 27%

From Uber having its users’ data compromised to a hack attack that turned the Information Commissioner’s Office into a cryptocurrency-mine, no organisation is safe from the ill intent of laptop-wielding larcenists. Worryingly, it seems as if the issue is only becoming worse as the number of cyber assaults targeting UK firms jumped by 27% in the last quarter, according to new research.

Having analysed data between January and March 2018, Beaming, the internet-service provider, has revealed that each UK firm on average experienced 600 attempts to breach their firewalls every day during that period. That’s a significant increase from the same period in 2017 when that figure stood at 474 attempts per day.

It also seems as if connected devices have become a particularly popular entry point for hackers, with 54% of the attempted insurrections targeting Internet of Things gadgets like control systems and security cameras. If successful, the malicious coders could use these smart devices to launch distributed denial of service attacks. Moreover, a tenth of attacks targeted corporate databases and 2.8% aimed to compromise remote desktops.

Looking at the origin of these attacks, Beaming noticed a sharp jump of hacks originating from Europe. These attacks more than doubled from 3,365 attacks per business in January to 8,983 in March. With 44% of all hacks on UK businesses coming from the continent in March, Europe overtook Asia to become the most common source of attacks for the first time.

Commenting on the news, Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, said: “2018 has been the worst start to a year we’ve seen for the volume of cyber attacks on UK businesses, in large part due to an unusual increase in activity originating from Europe since the start of March.

“Company firewalls and IT security systems have been under constant pressure from malicious computer scripts and we’ve had to constantly update our network-level protections to keep up with new and evolving threats. It is important that businesses of all sizes regularly review their cybersecurity measures, monitor their IT systems and communication networks for unusual activity and take all the help they can get to stay ahead of the criminals.”

Given that a successful breach can severely stunt a firm’s productivity, businesses in general and SMEs in particular cannot afford to be slack about cybersecurity.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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