Nearly 20% of U.K. Businesses Hacked Last Year
Recently, a number of companies in the United Kingdom have been in the news for high-profile data breaches. Nearly 245,000 customers were affected by a hack at payday lending firm Wonga, and TalkTalk just had to pay a fine of £400,000 ($501,000) for a breach that resulted in the theft of the personal data of 150,000 customers—15,000 of whom had their financial data stolen.
According to a report from the British Chamber of Commerce, these cases are not all that unique, as nearly 20% of U.K. businesses were attacked by cybercriminals in 2016. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that less than one-fourth (24%) of British firms have anti-hacking security measures in place.
The report, based on a survey of 1,200 businesses, also found that large businesses seem to be more attractive to hackers than smaller ones, as the report showed 42% of big businesses (those with a staff of over 100 employees) have been victimized by cyber criminals, compared to 18% of smaller companies.
“Cyberattacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses, but costs from disruption to their business and productivity. While firms of all sizes, from major corporations to one-man operations, fall prey to attacks, our evidence shows that large companies are more likely to experience them,” noted Adam Marshall, the BCC director-general.
When a company was hit with a data breach, IT providers were mostly likely tasked with the clean-up (63%). In only 12% of the breaches were banks responsible, and in just 2% of the cases were police forces responsible.
“Companies are reporting a reliance on IT support providers to resolve cyberattacks. More guidance from government and police about where and how to report attacks would provide businesses with a clear path to follow in the event of a cybersecurity breach and increase clarity around the response options available to victims, which would help minimize the occurrence of cybercrime,” noted Marshall.