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Are cyberattacks on the rise?

Our lives have moved increasingly online in recent years. The smartphone is now our bank, retail outlet, TV and cinema.

All of those apps means that a huge amount of your personal data is stored in online spaces – and accessing these details is a huge focus for cybercriminals, who may look to exploit you or profit from selling on sensitive information.

Here we’ll look at the numbers behind cyber crime and investigate what businesses can do to prevent themselves from being at risk.

What the numbers say

According to a recent survey by the UK Government, cyber crime is certainly on the rise.

Almost half of businesses polled (46%) reported cybersecurity breaches in the preceding year
A quarter of charities (26%) reported the same
These figures rocket for medium-sized businesses (68%), large businesses (75%) and high-income charities (57%)

Compared to previous surveys, there is a rise in attacks on charities. Just 19% reported being breached in 2018, for comparison.

Among the companies that reported a breach, 32% said they experienced security concerns at least once a week in 2020, a considerable increase from 22% reporting the same frequency just three years prior.

Different types of cyberattack

Phishing: A type of scam that sees malicious links placed into messages, such as SMS or email. Clicking the link could result in malware being spread to the network or contact details being harvested.
Malware: Malware is a piece of software designed to do harm. You may see some versions referred to as ransomware – this will limit the usability of machines or networks unless a ransom is paid.
Baiting: Similar to phishing, baiting involves tricking a user into downloading something – it may be masquerading as a smartphone app or a video clip – which then infects the device or network being used.

What can be done to stop cyberattacks

Preventing cyberattacks is as much about human action as it is about using technological assistance.

Making sure that your devices are properly password protected or company mobiles have biometrics activated ensures that data cannot be easily accessed if it falls into the wrong hands.

Similarly, remaining vigilant about messages from unexpected sources is key – as is driving these messages home to staff by way of cybersecurity training.

Protection can also be sought by way of taking out specific cyber risk insurance for businesses. This can help you repair the damage if the worst happens, but also provide you with further information on preventing attacks.

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