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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : May 10, 2016

UK: Two-thirds of large companies hit by cyber attacks in last year

New data from the British government reveals that businesses in the country are not as secure as they could be against data breaches and cyber attacks.

by Helen Leggatt

In their survey of 1,008 British businesses, the U.K.'s Department of Culture, Media and Sport found that almost two-thirds of large businesses (250+ employees) in the country had detected a cyber security breach or attack in the past 12 months.

The report, '2016 Cyber Security Breaches Survey', also reveals that a quarter of those businesses affected experienced a breach at least once per month.

More than two-thirds of breaches (68%) took the form of viruses, spyware, and malware and the remaining 32% resulted from someone impersonating an employee. Such breaches are costly, averaging €36,500 ( US$41,546), but can be as high as €3 million (US$3,413,850).

A lack of understanding of proper risk-management and risk-detection practices was party to blame, said the report. Just 51% of those businesses surveyed had tried to identify cyber security risks in advance. Furthermore, just 29% of companies have formal, written cyber security policies and just 10% a formal incident management plan.

Research by Marsh in the UK last year found that just 11.1% of U.K. companies have cyber insurance with 38.9% saying they intend to get quotes within the next 12 months. However, almost half (47.2%) say they have no plans to acquire cyber insurance and a similar number (48.6%) believe they do not have adequate information to be able to assess insurances that are available.

Almost a quarter (22.2%) of businesses surveyed admitted to having no response plan in place should a cyber attack occur and 26.4% have only a partial plan in place. Board-level ownership of cyber risks was also low at 19.4% among U.K. businesses, showing little change from the 20% of 2014.

Tags: cyber security, security, trends, UK

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