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Cyber attacks on UK businesses up 30% in the first quarter

11 May, 2020

The volume of cyber attacks on UK businesses increased by almost a third in the first three months of 2020, according to new analysis from Beaming, a specialist business ISP. Companies with internet connections experienced 157,000 attacks each, on average, in the first quarter, the equivalent of more than one a minute.

This rate of attack was 30% higher than the same period in 2019 when UK businesses received 120,000 internet-borne attempts to breach their systems each.

Beaming’s analysts identified 394,000 unique IP addresses used to attack UK businesses in the first quarter of 2020 and traced 48,000 of them to locations in China. This was the lowest number of Chinese IP addresses used to attack UK businesses since the second quarter of 2018 and is a substantial reduction on the 88,000 identified in China in the final three months of 2019.

IoT applications such as building control systems and networked security cameras were the most common targets for cybercriminals in the first quarter, attracting almost 19,000 online attacks per company. Company databases and file-sharing systems were also targeted frequently, with companies experiencing approximately 5,000 attacks for each application, on average.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, commented: “The record levels of cyber attacks on UK businesses experienced during the second half of last year were maintained in the first three months of 2020, with companies being attacked more than once every minute on average.

“Despite a reduced volume of attack activity originating in China, which could be related to the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, the rate of attack in the first quarter was around a third higher than in the same period of 2019. Businesses of all sizes need to take the threat seriously and take sensible steps to improve their resilience to attack, particularly now that the risk is magnified with so many people working from home.”

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