Nearly four in 10 businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, reveals survey

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9th July 2021 13:13 - Information Technology

Nearly four in 10 businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months: A survey has revealed that 39% of businesses had a cyber security breach or attack over the last year, with over a quarter (26%) of charities facing the same problem.

The survey of nearly 1,500 businesses, 500 charities and 400 education institutions by Ipsos Mori, sought to help organisations uncover the significance of the cyber security threats that they face.

While businesses and charities as a whole are facing a significant threat, medium and large businesses are at most risk, the survey found, with 65% and 64% having experienced an attack over the last 12 months.

Of these reported attacks, 21% of businesses and 18% of charities stated they had lost money, data, or other assets during the security breaches, with the estimated mean amount for all business-related cyber security attacks amounting to £8,460. This significant loss could be the reason for more than three-quarters (77%) of businesses placing cyber security as a main priority.

The survey revealed that 84% of businesses and 80% of charities said the pandemic has made no difference to the importance of cyber security, however, they have had to adapt to a new way of working. More people working from home has made monitoring and upgrading cyber security software harder, so has decreased from 40% in 2020, to 35% in 2021. Furthermore, 23% of businesses and charities have cyber security policies that cover their employees working from home.

When asked about the consistency of cyber-attacks, 27% of the businesses that had a security breach in the last year, said they happen at least once a week. Furthermore, 83% of these breaches are phishing attacks with 27% being impersonation based.

Since 2020, many charities and businesses have struggled to maintain their high level of security, with the number of businesses having up-to-date malware protection falling from 88% to 83%. Furthermore, the number of businesses setting up a network firewall has fallen from 83% to 78%.

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