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The cost of cyber attacks on a business has increased by over £1,000 since 2018, a new government report has revealed.
The 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey showed that 32 per cent of businesses identified a cyber security attack in the last 12 months – down from 43 per cent the previous year.
According to the government, 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). Thirty per cent of businesses and 36 per cent of charities have made changes to their cyber security policies and processes as a result of GDPR coming into force in May 2018.
However, the government did find that the median number of breaches had risen from four to six between 2016 and 2018. 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 cyber crime.
The most common breaches or attacks were phishing emails, followed by instances of others impersonating their organisation online, viruses or other malware including ransomware.
"Following the introduction of new data protection laws in the UK it’s encouraging to see that business and charity leaders are taking cyber security more seriously than ever before. However, with less than three in ten of those companies having trained staff to deal with cyber threats, there’s still a long way to go to make sure that organisations are better protected," Digital Minister Margot James said.
Through the CyberFirst program, the government works with industry and education to improve cyber security and get more young people interested in taking up a career in cyber.
The government has also encouraged business and charity leaders 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).
Moreover, all businesses are being urged to consider adopting the 10 steps to cyber security, which provides a comprehensive approach to managing cyber risks. The government believes that implementation of the 10 steps will help organisations reduce the likelihood and cost of a cyber attack or cyber related data breach.