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Security Feature

July 18, 2016

Cyber Attacks Deal Harsh Blow to UK Companies

By Alicia Young, Web Editor

The threats of computer viruses, data theft and being hacked are all fears that we in the age of technology live with everyday. We fear for our personal computers, our passwords and especially our credit card information. If we are concerned about keeping our personal laptops safe, imagine what it must be like for large companies that have stored data deemed valuable by hackers. This is a big issue in the UK right now, with cyber security breaches costing UK companies £34.1 billion ($45.2 billion) last year alone. On top of that, research from Beaming shows that bills for managing malware and data theft incidents cost £7.5 billion ($9.9 billion) and £6.2 billion ($8.2 billion), respectively.

Needless to say, being hacked results in a big price tag (News - Alert). Large companies have an immense fear of hackers, which is reasonable considering that 16 percent of large companies fell victim to successful attacks last year. Meanwhile, 12 percent of medium sized companies and 4 percent of small businesses suffered the same fate. These statistics reinforce the fact that large and medium businesses are almost twice as likely to contract viruses as smaller companies. The blow from these breaches in security is made worse by the fact that the average cost of each attack was estimated to be £16,264 ($21,230)

These frequent, successful attacks have business leaders worried, and for good reason. One in eight (13 percent) of leaders said their IT infrastructure had been damaged by viruses in the past year. This ended up costing the infected businesses £10,516 ($13,950) in time and money spent handling the attacks and aftermath. In 39 percent of the reported cases, employees were found to be the reason behind the infections. Accidents happen; many of us have downloaded a program without realizing that we were downloading a virus as well. However, the consequences of these mistakes are greater when it compromises an entire business, rather than just your personal computer.

Due to these threats to data and intellectual property, business leaders are taking a stand to stop the attacks. Cyber attacks can be detrimental to a business’ success and it is therefore imperative that they be stopped. Thus, businesses have invested in enhanced encryption, network level monitoring and secure connectivity. Hopefully these security measures will result in fewer companies being attacked and consequently less money being spent on damage control.

Edited by Peter Bernstein

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