UK Firms Invest in Cybersecurity to Foil Attacks

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There was good news for UK businesses this week after new stats from Beaming showed the number of cyber-attack victims fell by a fifth in 2017 from the previous year.

The business ISP polled over 500 corporate bosses in micro-, small, medium and large businesses.

Although around the same number of large (250 employee) businesses fell victim to cybercrime last year, the figure dropped significantly for smaller firms.

The number of micro-businesses hit by attacks dropped from 31% to 18%; small business victim rates fell from 55% to 47%; and the figure for medium-sized businesses dropped from 65% to 57%.

The ISP claimed that the stats could be explained by larger investments in cybersecurity tools and education.

For example, the number of SMBs using network perimeter firewalls jumped from 54% in 2016 to 75% last year, and the use of intrusion detection systems and vulnerability scanners doubled. What’s more, the number of small businesses with documented security policies grew from 26% to 51% by the end of 2017.

Cyber-insurance is also on the rise, doubling over the period to 38% of small businesses and 54% of mid-sized firms.

“Businesses are much more aware of the damage a cybersecurity breach can do to their operations and reputations, and have invested heavily in education and technology to improve their resilience to attack,” explained Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard.

“Large organizations fall victim at a higher rate because they have more people and therefore more potential areas of vulnerability, but most cyber-attacks are indiscriminate, so it's encouraging that smaller businesses have taken big steps to secure their systems and their data as it travels across the internet.”

However, despite the fall in the number of businesses falling victim, the volume of attacks continues to rise.

They soared by over a quarter (27%) year-on-year in the first three months of 2018, with IoT endpoints the most frequently targeted (54%) followed by corporate databases (11%).

The latest government research claimed last week that 43% of UK businesses had experienced a breach or attack in the previous 12 months. That was down slightly from 46% last year, although the figure rose from 68% to 72% for large businesses.

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