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Q1 Cyber-Attacks on UK Firms Jump 27%

Online attacks on UK businesses jumped by over a quarter (27%) year-on-year in the first three months of the year, according to Beaming.

The business ISP claimed each UK firm experienced on average 600 attempts per day to breach its firewall between January and March 2018, compared to 474 attempts in the same period last year.

As per previous months, Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints were targeted the most, accounting for 54% of attacks, followed by attempts to compromise corporate databases (11%).

Beaming claimed the idea here is not necessarily to use the IoT endpoints as a stepping stone into corporate networks but to hijack them for use in DDoS botnets.

Security researchers discovered a new version of the infamous Mirai IoT botnet last month which has already been used to launch DDoS attacks on financial services firms.

The volume of attacks on UK businesses originating from Europe more than doubled during Q1 2018, from 3365 per business in January to 8983 attacks per business in March, as the region overtook Asia as number one attack source, accounting for 44%.

In addition, over a third (35%) of attacks came from the Czech Republic and 12% were from Russian IP addresses, although in all cases defining the true source of an attack is difficult as hackers can route their raids through multiple countries.

“Company firewalls and IT security systems have been under constant pressure from malicious computer scripts and we’ve had to constantly update our network-level protections to keep up with new and evolving threats,” said Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard.

“It is important that businesses of all sizes regularly review their cybersecurity measures, monitor their IT systems and communication networks for unusual activity and take all the help they can get to stay ahead of the criminals.”

A report from Gemalto out this week claimed that the UK suffered the second highest number of publicly reported data breaches in the world last year: 80. Although the number of compromised records fell from 54.5 million in 2016 to 33.1 million last year, it’s thought that the introduction of the GDPR will drive the number up significantly over the coming years.

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