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Attacks on UK Businesses Soar 243%

Cyber-attacks on UK businesses surged by a whopping 243% over the summer, compared to the same period last year, according to new findings from Beaming.

The Hastings-based business ISP analyzed data from the thousands of organizations across the UK that it supplies.

It found that UK firms experienced 157,528 attacks each on average between July and September, up from 45,970 during the same three months of 2018.

The firm detected nearly 500,000 unique IP addresses used to launch cyber-attacks on UK businesses during the period, with the number originating from China more than doubling over last year. A large number of attacks also originated in Taiwan, Brazil and Russia, Beaming said.

The most frequently targeted systems were Internet of Things (IoT) devices and file sharing services, accounting for 20% and 6% of attacks respectively.

FireEye warned in June of a “dramatic” increase in abuse of file sharing services such as WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, which are used to host malicious and phishing files in email-borne attacks.

What’s more, cyber-criminals are increasingly gearing up to exploit unprotected IoT devices, according to a Trend Micro report released last month. The firm analyzed chatter on dark web forums across the globe and found routers and IP cameras were the most commonly discussed devices.

Businesses face a threat on two fronts: they could be DDoS-ed or attacked in other ways from botnets of compromised IoT machines like these; or their own operational technology could be hijacked and sabotaged, disrupting key business and manufacturing processes.

“Previous summers have been relatively quiet when it comes to cybercrime, but the hackers haven’t yet taken a break this year. Throughout 2019 we have witnessed new highs in the volume of cyber-attacks hitting organisations in the UK and also the number of active agents behind those attempts,” said Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard.

“We are tackling more and more malicious code at a network level to minimize the threat of online attacks to our customers. The hackers are after the weakest link they can find, so companies need to boost their resilience to these sustained, indiscriminate attacks. They can do this by ensuring their software and cybersecurity defenses are up-to-date, putting in place measures such as managed firewalls and educating employees to help them avoid the main risks they could be exposed to.”

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