UK businesses hit with one cyber attack every minute so far in 2019

A new cyber threat report from Beaming has found that UK businesses were subjected to 119,659 internet-borne cyber attacks each, on average, in the first quarter of 2019.

This rate of attack, which equates to one every minute, was more than double that experienced in the first three months of 2018.

Between January and March 2019, Beaming’s cyber security analysts identified 442,091 unique IP addresses that were being used to launch cyber attacks over the internet on UK businesses. While 51,004 of these could be traced to locations in China and a large amount of attack activity continued to originate in Brazil (32,386) and Russia (31,131), there was also a threefold increase in the number of IP addresses in Egypt (36,282) used to attack UK businesses in the first three months of the year.

Remotely controlled IoT applications and file sharing services were the most likely targets for online cyber criminals, attracting 201 and 114 attacks per day respectively between January and March.

“Cyber attacks continue to be a clear and present danger to UK businesses and the IT infrastructure they rely on. Business leaders should be wary, the rate of attack has been at historically high levels since October last year. Since we started tracking cyber attack activity just over three years ago we’ve come to expect that businesses will be attacked around 20,000 times a month on average. At the moment we are seeing twice that level of malicious activity online,” said Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming.

“While there is plenty that we can do at a network level to minimise the threat of online attacks, businesses need to take cyber security seriously, educate employees and put in place security measures such as managed firewalls to ensure they don’t expose themselves to undue risk.”

RSA Security believes that the stark rise in cyber-attacks across UK businesses reflects the growing threat accompanying the digital transformation journeys of UK organisations.

“Beaming’s recent analysis around the rising rate of cyber-attacks on UK businesses exposes the fundamental way in which digital transformation roadmaps are altering security needs,” commented Chris Miller, Regional Director, UK & Ireland at RSA Security

“These historically high threat-levels demonstrate the need for companies to address the voids within their defence strategies. Of course, businesses cannot completely eliminate this growing digital risk without halting the progress of their digital initiatives.

“This is a reminder that businesses need to adapt and manage these risks by breaking down the silos between their security and risk management teams. Aligning these functions provides organisations with visibility so they can be sure they have the right information and business context, insights to understand what is happening and determine how responses can be prioritised.”

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