Two-thirds of UK firms suffered cyber attacks in the last year

Most enterprises and SMBs are not aware of cybersecurity schemes, finds study

A padlock on a motherboard surrounded by keys

Over two-thirds of large businesses have experienced a cybersecurity breach in the last 12 months, according to a government survey released this month.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey revealed that 65 per cent of large firms have detected an attack in the past year, with a quarter of those experiencing attacks on a monthly basis.

These breaches often prove damaging, with an average cost of 36,500 for a large business. Despite this, however, only 13 per cent of businesses hold their external suppliers to any sort of cybersecurity standards, the survey of 1,008 UK businesses found.

"I'm not too surprised to see these attacks and breaches are affecting more businesses," said ViaSat UK CEO Chris McIntosh.

"I am surprised, however, that despite half of FTSE 350 businesses seeing cyberattacks as the biggest threat to their business, the policies and technology they have put in place do not reflect this."

"In the modern threat landscape complacency is no longer an option - companies need to review their entire IT systems from top to bottom; ensuring there are no unprotected points of entry for potential attackers and that all points of access are secured and all sensitive data is encrypted."

Another issue is that many companies remain unaware of government initiatives to help enterprises with cybersecurity.

Under 30 per cent of large companies were aware of the government's '10 Steps' cybersecurity guidance programme, with that number falling even further among SMBs.

Even fewer businesses were aware of the Cyber Essentials Scheme - just six per cent overall.

"I am proud British industry is leading the way," wrote digital economy minister Ed Vaizey in a foreword to the report. "But to secure our place in today's global marketplace we need to ensure the UK is one of the safest places in the world to do business online."

"Too many businesses are suffering disruption, financial loss and theft of intellectual property as a result of cyber crime. This is why the government has announced a new 1.9 billion investment in cyber security over the next five years. This will help to make the UK the best protected country in cyber space."

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