UK Firms Suffer Record Number of Cyber-Attacks in Q1

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There was no let up for UK businesses in the first three months of 2021, with commercial organizations suffering an 11% year-on-year increase in cyber-attacks during the period, according to Beaming.

The business ISP compiled the stats from analysis of traffic flowing to thousands of its corporate customers nationwide.

It claimed UK firms were hit by over 172,000 attacks each on average during the first quarter, the equivalent of 1912 per day and one intrusion attempt every 45 seconds. This compares to 1725 attacks per day in the first quarter of 2020.

Beaming claimed that Q1 2021 saw the highest level of malicious online activity seen at the start of a year since it began recording such data in 2016.

It’s likely that most of these attempts were automated commodity attacks that organizations with decent cybersecurity could repel fairly easily.

However, Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard, warned that attacks could still expose some organizations that have not found secure ways to enable remote working for staff.

“The mass move to home and hybrid working means that company data and IT systems are now being accessed via a wide range of personal equipment on unmanaged domestic internet connections,” she said.

“Each offers a potential point of failure for hackers to gain access to company systems over the public internet, and hackers are doubling down to take advantage of vulnerabilities created by this fundamentally less secure way of working.”

Remotely controlled IoT applications and file-sharing services were the top targets for attackers, attracting 175 and 100 attacks per day respectively between January and March.

The most popular countries of origin for IP addresses used in attacks were China (14%), the US (11%) and India (6%).

“The number of cyber-attacks launched against UK businesses surged as the country went into COVID lockdown last year and has remained at exceptionally high levels ever since,” said Blizzard.

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