Almost half of companies struck by a cyber attack previous year

Almost half of companies struck by a cyber attack previous year

It's clear that enterprises increasingly understand the importance of cybersecurity: Three-quarters of United Kingdom businesses say that cybersecurity is a high priority for their senior management, with 31% saying it is a very high priority.

What's more, fewer than a third of United Kingdom businesses have a board member specifically tasked with cyber security and a "significant proportion" (the closest the government has disclosed to an actual figure) do not have the basic protections in place.

Web giant Yahoo and telecoms firm TalkTalk are among the major organisations hit by cyber attacks in recent years. "By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities".

Firms holding personal data are more lily to be attacked, it was determined, with fraudulent emails, virus and malware the most common attacks being reported.

We admire the work of the new National Cyber Security Centre and their revived "10 steps" programme, but unfortunately as the report shows businesses don't naturally turn to the government for advice on computing and security.

"Some 64 per cent of businesses experienced a loss because of an email-based impersonation attack a year ago".

However, some company owners feel more needs to be done to provide adequate assistance.

The SCP will include improvements to research into cyber security, changes to the business environment to encourage cybersecurity startups, and education to reduce the skills shortage in Australian cybersecurity, it said. "As a regulated firm the FCA is always my first port of call, [but] you'd expect it to be more tailored to the financial industry".

The ASX late previous year asked the top 100 listed companies to participate in a health check of their cyber security posture as part of a directive from the federal government's national security strategy.

Breaches most commonly resulted in a temporary loss of files (at a quarter), while a fifth and software or systems corrupted.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed also admitted to having a temporary loss of files from a breach, whilst a fifth had their systems and software corrupted.

The report also noted that 75% of people who had used government sources said it was useful, suggesting that it was "most likely lack of awareness rather than a lack of perceived relevance or usefulness that explains why so few businesses have used government information".

"Our challenge now is to learn the lesson from the report, particularly when it comes to small to medium businesses, who often don't have the resources and wherewithal to deal with the persistent cyber threat", Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Dan Tehan said today.

The ACSGN cybersecurity sector competitiveness plan (SCP) will "identify the challenges Australian organisations face when competing in local and global cyber security markets", it said. Organisations need to take this threat seriously.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, said: "The majority of successful cyberattacks are not that sophisticated but can cause serious commercial damage".

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