Cyber Attacks On UK Firms Shoots Up Over Summer

Cyber attacks on UK firms have soared by a staggering 243% over the summer season, in comparison to the same period in 2018 summer, according to new findings from Beaming.

The Hastings-based established Internet Service Provider, Beaming examined data from the thousands of organisations across the UK that it supplies.

The data revealed that UK firms experienced 157,528 attacks each on average between July and September, which is 45,970 attacks more than the same three months of 2018.

Upon investigation, they found nearly 500,000 unique IP addresses used to launch cyber attacks on UK businesses during the summer period, while the number originating from China had more than doubled over the past 12 months. Furthermore, Beaming claimed a huge number of attacks also initiated in Taiwan, Brazil, and Russia.

The most commonly targeted systems were Internet of Things (IoT) devices and file-sharing services, accounting for 20% and 6% of attacks respectively.

FireEye advised this summer of a “dramatic” rise in the exploitation of file-sharing services including WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. These services have been utilised to host malicious and phishing files in email-borne attacks.

Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated and according to a Trend Micro report released last month, they are gradually preparing themselves to misuse insecure IoT devices. The firm have investigated conversations on dark web forums across the world and found routers and IP cameras were the most commonly discussed devices.

Businesses could be facing the threat of two kinds:

  • DDoS-ed or attacked in other ways from botnets of compromised IoT machines like these; or
  • own operational technology could be hijacked and sabotaged

either of these threats could disrupt key operational business and manufacturing processes.

Sonia Blizzard, Beaming Managing Director said:

“Previous summers have been relatively quiet when it comes to cyber crime, but the hackers haven’t yet taken a break this year. Throughout 2019 we have witnessed new highs in the volume of cyber-attacks hitting organisations in the UK and also the number of active agents behind those attempts.

“We are tackling more and more malicious code at a network level to minimise the threat of online attacks to our customers. The hackers are after the weakest link they can find, so companies need to boost their resilience to these sustained, indiscriminate attacks. They can do this by ensuring their software and cyber security defences are up-to-date, putting in place measures such as managed firewalls and educating employees to help them avoid the main risks they could be exposed to.”

In a digital era, we are becoming more and more accustomed to using (and surrounded by) gadgets that are connected to the Wifi in our homes and in the workplace, that it has become the norm. With cyber criminals ever-evolving to find new and easier ways to exploit individuals and businesses, it will not take too long before the hackers find a way to infiltrate firm networks to gather personal and sensitive information.

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