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Stop Letting the Guard Down

11 May 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

The government is urging UK businesses to protect themselves from cyber criminals following government research showing two-thirds of them suffer from cyber breaches or attacks in the past year.

Government research into cyber security also revealed that in some cases the cost of cyber breaches and attacks to business reached millions but the most common attacks detected involved viruses, spyware or malware that could have been prevented using the its Cyber Essentials scheme which is free to download.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that while 25% of large firms experiencing a breach did so at least once a month, only 50% of all firms have taken any recommended actions to identify and address vulnerabilities. Even fewer, about a third of all firms, had formal written cyber security policies and only 10% had an incident management plan in place.

Results from the survey have been released alongside the government’s Cyber Governance Health Check which was launched following the TalkTalk cyber attack. It found almost half of the top FTSE 350 businesses regarded cyber attacks as the biggest threat to their business when compared with other key risks, up from 29% in 2014.

The Government’s Cyber Governance Health Check also found that

only a third of the UK’s top 350 businesses understood the threat of a cyber attack; only 20% of businesses have a clear view of the dangers of sharing information with third parties but many are getting better at managing cyber risks with almost two-thirds now setting out their approach to cyber security in their annual report.

Both surveys form part of the government’s approach to tackling cyber crime that will see £1.9 billion invested over the next five years. A new national cyber security strategy will also be published later in 2016 setting out the government’s plans to improve cyber security for itself, businesses and consumers.

“Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks,” observed Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy. “It’s absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data. As a minimum companies should take action by adopting the Cyber Essentials scheme which will help them protect themselves.”

Picture: Cyber attacks are still not being defended against enough by many businesses argues the government

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 11 May 2016


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