UK businesses subjected to 230,000 cyber attacks EACH in 2016

The volume of cyber attacks on UK businesses doubled last year, with criminals taking advantage of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Cyber security needs to be a primary focus for start-ups and small businesses as new analysis from Beaming shows that UK businesses were targeted 230,000 times each by cyber criminals in 2016.

This is double the volume recorded in 2015, with the number of attacks on company firewalls surpassing a record average of 1,000 per day across  November 2016.

Last year also saw an advance towards “more sophisticated” cyber attacks, with IoT devices that can be controlled remotely – such as networked security cameras and building control systems – becoming popular targets.

In the first quarter of 2016, a third of attacks targeted company databases. However, by the end of the year, 90% of attacks attempted to access IoT devices, following a 310% increase in such attempts between the first and final quarter of the year.

Beaming has also recorded an increase in inbound cyber threats from outside the UK, with 98% of the unique IP addresses used to launch attacks against UK businesses originating from oversees.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director at Beaming, said: “The majority of internet cyberattacks are computer scripts that search the web for weaknesses and probe firewalls constantly for a way in.

“With the Internet of Things, businesses are punching holes in their own firewalls to provide suppliers with access to devices on their networks. This can open the door to criminals too if not done properly.

“It is imperative that companies regularly review their firewall policies to ensure they are as restrictive as possible and prioritise security over convenience.”

For advice on how to protect your business from cyber attacks (including those targeting IoT devices), see our guide.

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