Businesses ‘not ready’ for cyber attacks

THE number of cyber attacks against businesses surged last year, with more than 60 per cent of companies reporting at least one attack in 2018, according to a new survey.

Cyber crime

The figure is up from 45 per cent the previous year and comes amid worrying data showing the level of preparadness from firms to deal with online attacks being in decline.

According to Hiscox’s cyber readiness report 2019 the number of firms making preparations against such incidents has declined over the past year.

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The new report surveyed 5,400 firms in the US, UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands to assess cyber security.

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Nearly three quarters of businesses were considered unprepared for a cyber attack, after failing a cyber readiness test.

The size of losses related to attacks also sharply increased, with the average loss reported at £283,000, up 61 per cent on the previous year. German firms reported the largest overall losses, as one company reported $48 million in losses from data breaches.

While large firms remain the most likely to be targeted, the number of small and medium sized businesses affected by the crime surged last year.

Around 47 per cent of small firms, those with less than 50 employees, reported attacks, up from 33 per cent last year.

The recent spike in cyber crime included a number of high profile incidents, including data breaches at British Airways and Dixons Carphone.

Gareth Wharton, Cyber CEO at Hiscox, which has a large presence in Yorkshire, said: “Where hackers formerly focused on larger companies, small and medium-sized firms now look equally vulnerable. The cyber threat has become the unavoidable cost of doing business today.”