Cyberattacks on UK companies fall as staff return to work


The number of cyberattacks on UK companies fell for the first time in almost three years during the second quarter of 2021, according to Beaming, a specialist business ISP. 

Beaming’s analysis of commercial internet traffic reveals that businesses experienced 160,610 attempts each to breach their online systems between April and June, on average, the equivalent of an attack every 49 seconds.

This rate of cyberattacks was nine per cent lower than the same period in 2020 and represented the first year-on-year decline in malicious web activity since 2018. Attack levels are now similar to Q1 2020 when UK businesses experienced 157,020 attacks each, on average.

Beaming cybersecurity analysts identified 305,455 unique IP addresses used to launch online cyberattacks on UK businesses during the second quarter of 2021. The ISP traced 48,726 of these to locations in China and also identified large numbers of IP addresses in the USA (30,360), India (17,692) and Russia (11,978) as the source of attacks on UK firms.

Says Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, said:

“Cyberattacks on businesses surged when the UK went into lockdown last year as criminals sensed the opportunity to take advantage of under-protected home workers.”

“Attacks have fallen to near pre-pandemic levels as more people returned to their workplaces, but businesses are still in the firing line and face new attacks every minute. We continue to urge caution.

“Home and hybrid working remains a permanent fixture for lots of firms. Many of their people will access company data and IT systems via personal devices and unmanaged domestic internet connections.

“These new normal working practices are inherently insecure and increase the risk of a breach. Firms that haven’t upped their cybersecurity game should do so now, especially if they allow home working.”

Graphics: Cyberattacks on UK businesses / Attacking IP addresses by origin

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Chris Price
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