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Cyber-Attacks on UK Firms Jump 52% in Q2

UK firms were hit by a 52% increase in cyber-attacks in Q2 compared to the first three months of the year, with corporate databases increasingly targeted, according to the latest stats from Beaming.

The Hastings-based business ISP has analyzed attacks in real-time against thousands of UK companies since the start of 2016, in order to better understand the threat landscape.

It calculated that firms were each targeted by 65,000 online cyber-attacks on average in the second quarter.

The vast majority (68%) of these were targeting what Beaming refers to as 'remote control' applications, that is, IoT and embedded computing devices such as smart control systems for buildings and connected CCTV cameras.

However, the average number of attacks against corporate databases jumped from around 1200 to over 9500 from Q1 to Q2, representing a massive increase of 673%.

That means every UK business experienced 105 attacks on their database applications each day in the quarter, versus just 14 in the period January-March this year.

Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard, argued that big name attack campaigns like WannaCry are in reality just the tip of the iceberg for firms.

“UK businesses were targeted more than 700 times each on a daily basis by hackers over the last three months, who focused on hijacking connected devices and databases,” she added.

“The majority of cyber-attacks are automated computer scripts that search the web for weaknesses and attack company firewalls constantly looking for vulnerabilities. Businesses need to keep these vital defenses up-to-date, prioritize security over convenience and ensure employees understand both the evolving threat and their cyber security responsibilities.”

It’s also increasingly common for cyber-criminals to steal, crack or hack passwords in order to gain access to corporate databases. The number of data breaches involving phishing jumped from 8% in 2015 to 21% last year, according to Verizon.

Beaming stats claim UK firms were forced to repel 230,000 cyber-attacks each on average last year, potentially costing them as much as £30bn.

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