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Businesses and charities urged to take action to prevent cyber attacks

  • Percentage of businesses experiencing cyber breaches or attacks drops from 43% to 32%.
  • New laws to strengthen data protection have had a positive impact on cyber security.
  • Businesses and charities urged to train more people to help manage cyber risks.

New statistics from 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.

The 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey shows that 32% of businesses identified a cyber security attack in the last 12 months – down from 43% the previous year.

The reduction is partly due to the introduction of tough new data laws under the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 30% of businesses and 36% of charities have made changes to their cyber security policies and processes as a result of GDPR coming into force in May 2018.

However, of those businesses that did suffer attacks, the typical median number of breaches has risen from 4 in 2018 to 6 in 2019. Therefore, businesses and charities suffering cyber attacks and breaches appear to be experiencing more attacks than in previous years.

Where a breach has resulted in a loss of data or assets, the average cost of a cyber attack on a business has gone up by more than £1,000 since 2018 to £4,180. Business leaders are now being urged to do more to protect themselves against cybercrime.

The most common breaches or attacks were phishing emails, followed by instances of others impersonating their organisation online, viruses or other malware including ransomware.

Digital Minister Margot James said:

Following the introduction of new data protection laws in the UK it’s encouraging to see that business and charity leaders are taking cyber security more seriously than ever before. However, with less than three in ten of those companies having trained staff to deal with cyber threats, there’s still a long way to go to make sure that organisations are better protected.

We know that tackling cyber threats is not always at the top of business and charities list of things to do, but with the rising costs of attacks, it’s not something organisations can choose to ignore any longer.

Read the full article here and the main report here.

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