- Percentage of businesses experiencing cyber breaches or attacks drops from 43% to 32%.
- New laws to strengthen data protection have had a positive impact on cyber security.
- Businesses and charities urged to train more people to help manage cyber risks.
New statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have shown a reduction in the percentage of businesses suffering a cyber breach or attack in the last year.
The 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey shows that 32% of businesses identified a cyber security attack in the last 12 months - down from 43% the previous year.
The reduction is partly due to the introduction of tough new data laws under the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 30% of businesses and 36% of charities have made changes to their cyber security policies and processes as a result of GDPR coming into force in May 2018.
However, of those businesses that did suffer attacks, the typical median number of breaches has risen from 4 in 2018 to 6 in 2019. Therefore, businesses and charities suffering cyber attacks and breaches appear to be experiencing more attacks than in previous years.
Where a breach has resulted in a loss of data or assets, the average cost of a cyber attack on a business has gone up by more than £1,000 since 2018 to £4,180. Business leaders are now being urged to do more to protect themselves against cybercrime.
The most common breaches or attacks were phishing emails, followed by instances of others impersonating their organisation online, viruses or other malware including ransomware.
Business and charity leaders are being encouraged to download the free small business guide and free small charity guide to help make sure that they don’t fall victim to cyber attacks. This is available through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
The threat of cyber attacks remains very real and widespread in the UK. The figures published today also show that 48% of businesses and 39% of charities who were breached or attacked, identified at least one breach or attack every month.
Cyber security is becoming more of a priority issue, especially for charities. Those charities who treated cyber security as a high priority has gone up to 75% in 2019, compared with just 53% the year before, and is now at the same level as businesses.
Small businesses and charities are being urged to take up tailored advice from the National Cyber Security Centre. All businesses should consider adopting the Ten Steps to Cyber Security, which provides a comprehensive approach to managing cyber risks. Implementation of the 10 Steps will help organisations reduce the likelihood and cost of a cyber attack or cyber related data breach.
Organisations can also raise their basic defences by enrolling on the Cyber Essentials initiative and following the regularly updated technical guidance on Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership available on the NCSC website.