Two in five businesses (39 per cent) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, according to the survey from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 report shows the cyber risk to organisations has been dramatically increased due to the pandemic which has made creating secure digital environments more challenging with a higher number of staff now working from home. The most common breaches or attacks were phishing emails, instances organisations being impersonated online, viruses or other malware including ransomware.
Where a breach has resulted in a loss of data or assets, the average cost of a cyber attack on a business is £8,460. This figure rises to £13,400 for medium and large businesses.
With more people working remotely it is vital firms have the right protections in place
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman
The data also shows that fewer businesses are taking recommended cyber security measures. Fewer businesses are using security monitoring tools to identify abnormal activity which could indicate a breach and are less aware of the breaches and attacks staff are facing. For example, only 83 per cent of businesses have up-to-date anti-virus software. Less than a quarter of businesses (23 per cent) have a cyber security policy covering home working.
The government is encouraging businesses, charities and educational institutions to follow the free help and guidance from the UK cyber security experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). It includes advice on the secure use of video conferencing, secure home working and how to move your business from physical to digital.