UK hit by more online attacks than ever

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Criminal Agency (NCA) have warned that more online attacks are targeting British businesses than ever before.

According to a new report published by the NCSC: “2017 will be remembered as the year of ransomware attacks and massive data breaches, supply chain threats and, of course, fake news stories.”

It continues: “With attackers able to achieve many of their aims by using techniques that are not particularly advanced, the distinction between nation states and cyber criminals has blurred, making attribution all the more difficult.”

The report notes that both the public and private sector must work together to handle the rise in cyber crime, as firms face a growing threat from ransomware, data breaches, and weaknesses in the supply chain.

It also mentions that there is a growing threat of theft from cloud storage, which according to the NCSC, "too many businesses put their faith in", as only 40% of data stored in the cloud is access secured.

Ciaran Martin, head of the NCSC, said: “The last year has seen no deceleration in the tempo and volume of cyber incidents, as attackers devise new ways to harm businesses and citizens around the globe.

He continued: “The NCSC’s aim is to make the UK an unattractive target to cyber criminals and certain nation states by increasing their risk and reducing their return on investment.”

Data released in January shows that no less than 34 significant cyber attacks took place between October 2016 and the end of 2017, while a further 762 arracks were less serious.

The report warns that 2018 will bring more of these attacks.

Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s Prosperity Command, said: “UK business faces a cyber threat which is growing in scale and complexity. Organisations which don’t take cyber security extremely seriously in the next year are risking serious financial and reputational consequences."

He continued: “By increasing collaboration between law enforcement, government and industry we will make sure the UK is a safe place to do business and hostile zone for cyber criminals."

The enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May could, in some circumstances, lead to heavy fines for organisations that do not put security measures in place.