39% of Businesses Suffered Security Breaches in the last 12 months

By The North West Cyber Resilience Centre

The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey suggests that fewer businesses are identifying breaches or attacks than in 2020 (when it was 46%), the average annual cost for a business is £8,460 for lost data or assets after breaches.

Almost four in ten (39%) of UK firms reported that they experienced a cyber-attack or data breach in the last 12 months – up from 46% from 2019. This is one of the key findings in the UK Government’s annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey.

The study also found that, despite the decrease in such reports, 27% of business are being attacked at least once a week. But there has been an increase to 43% in the number of businesses that have taken up cyber insurance, up from 32% in 2020.

According to the survey, the number of medium (65%) and large (64%) businesses reporting breaches or attacks this year, a decrease from 2020 where 75% of large business identified breaches or attacks.

Dealing with Covid-19

In response to the changing remote workforce and dealing with Covid-19, 47% of businesses have staff using personal devices for work. Only 18% of personal devices being covered with a cybersecurity policy for working.

There's still a lot of work for businesses to do coming out of the last 12 months, just 23% of businesses cover home working through a cybersecurity policy. Only 34% of businesses have staff who use a VPN whilst working from home.

Despite COVID-19, cybersecurity remains high on the agenda among management boards. 77% of businesses say that cybersecurity is a high priority for their directors or senior managers (vs. 69% in 2016).

With resources stretched during the last 12 month, fewer businesses report having up-to-date malware protection (83%, vs. 88% in 2020) and network firewalls (78%, vs. 83% in 2020).

Just 34% have started to manage the risk by completing a cyber risk assessment, and only 32% of businesses are monitoring user activity. Which is a decrease from 38% in 2020.

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