The cost of living crisis is fuelling a surge in cyber attacks on UK businesses, a leading fraud expert has warned.
Leigham Martin, group head of infrastructure and security at Connectus Business Solutions, said that cutting costs on security can spell disaster for businesses.
He was commenting after new official statistics today (Tuesday) showed that 39% of UK businesses experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months.
The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found that the most common threat vector was phishing attempts, which were experienced by 83% of firms reporting breaches.
Around one in five (21%) identified more sophisticated attacks, such as denial of service, malware and ransomware attacks.
Mr Martin of Connectus said: “There is increasing evidence that some businesses are looking to save money in this area, perhaps linked to the cost of living crisis. But cutting corners where cyber security is concerned can be costly especially as IT is now typically an integral part of a business.
“Half of small to medium businesses go bust within six months of a cyber-attack. With the growing threat of war in the east, the cost-of-living crisis and increasing inflation, cyber criminals are using this to their advantage to exploit people and businesses alike.
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“Social engineering is again on the rise and scammers are sending phishing emails and messages offering rebates on energy bills to play on peoples and businesses vulnerabilities.”
Connectus offers security solutions that are cost effective, scalable and, most importantly, affordable. The firm can protect businesses from all angles, from endpoint security to penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. Organisations typically spend less on cyber security than is recommended, said Mr Martin, and it is not always a top priority
“Simply put, good cyber security costs money and you often don’t see the return on investment from it,” he said.
“But on average, organisations should look to invest around 3-4% of their annual revenue into cyber security. This should be used to bolster defences, gain visibility of their technology and have a proactive approach when it comes to protecting the company’s digital assets.”
Businesses should adopt a “when” not “if” approach to security and should be prepared and have a plan if they do suffer from a cyber attack. Connectus tailors its cyber security solutions to add value to businesses of all sizes, said Mr Martin: “We understand the challenges business face when it comes to investing into its Cyber Security and technology and that’s why we make it really simple to get your business protected and your technology up to date.”
He added: “As the West denounces the actions of Putin’s war and supports the people of Ukraine, the UK becomes a bigger target to foreign nation state hackers who will be looking for ways to disrupt businesses and the economy.
“This is why it’s important to protect your business and its digital assets. The most important thing for businesses of all sizes to do is to ensure that the fundamentals of cyber security are in place to protect devices, networks, and systems.”