Half of UK businesses hit by at least one cyber-attack last year

21 June, 2017

Worrying new research has revealed that approximately half of all UK businesses were hit by at least one cyber-attack or security breach in 2016.

The data, which comes from the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, suggests that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not doing enough to protect themselves from hackers.

According to the report, which was carried out in collaboration with Rebootonline.com, almost three quarters (72 per cent) of SMEs fell victim to a cyber-attack stemming from a fraudulent email, while a third (33 per cent) were targeted with common computer viruses such as ransomware and spyware.

A further quarter (25 per cent) admitted that their company suffered a temporary or permanent loss of important files as a direct result of a cyber-attack.

The study found that the majority of businesses quizzed fear the loss of high-value trade secrets and intellectual property as a result of such attacks – yet only 67 per cent of businesses told the survey that they had actively invested money in improving their company’s cyber security.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, warned: “Most successful cyber-attacks are not that sophisticated, but can cause serious commercial damage.

“By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities.”