Attacks on UK Firms Increase Five-Fold During Pandemic

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Attacks on UK firms surged five-fold during the pandemic and now cost way more than the global average, according to Accenture.

The global consultancy polled 500 UK executives to compile its State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 study.

It found that large organizations experienced 885 attempted cyber-attacks in 2020 – up from 156 the previous year and more than triple the global average of 270.

They’re also more expensive than elsewhere. Accenture calculated that incidents and breaches cost over £1.3m a year – £350,000 more than the global average.

Over 80% of respondents said the cost of staying ahead of cyber-criminals is unsustainable, a fifth more than the previous year, and a quarter said they’ve been forced to increase cybersecurity budgets by 10% or more.

Worryingly, supply chain attacks accounted for 64% of breaches in the UK last year, up by a quarter (26%) from the previous year.

This chimes with a recent report from BlueVoyant , which revealed 93% of global organizations suffered a direct breach due to their supply chains over the past year.

Accenture UK security lead, Giovanni Cozzolino, argued that British firms are under siege from digital attackers.

“It’s clear that cyber-criminals are taking full advantage of the overnight shift to home working and digital operations,” he added. “Enterprises need to be on high alert. Whether sophisticated nation-state actors or run of the mill cyber-criminals, adversaries are clearly getting more resourceful and launching attacks from every angle.”

The report claimed that nearly half (49%) of large businesses lost over 100,000 customer records over the course of the past year, an increase of 28% from the previous year.

“Faced with high costs in a difficult economic environment, UK firms must be smart with how they spend on security,” concluded Cozzolino.

“Spending more without being closely aligned to the business doesn’t make your organization safer. To achieve sustained cyber resilience, CISOs need to collaborate with the right executives in their organization to understand where to prioritize.”

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