A recent survey has suggested that one in five businesses has been hit by a cyber attack over the course of the last year.
The study, released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), revealed that 20% of firms have fallen victim to a cyber attack in the last 12 months. Of those targeted, 42% were businesses employing more than 100 staff.
The survey also revealed that the majority of businesses (63%) rely on IT providers to resolve problems after an attack.
Furthermore, only a quarter of the businesses surveyed have cyber security accreditations in place, with smaller firms less likely to have accreditation than their larger counterparts.
The BCC is urging businesses to take action to help protect themselves, warning that new data protection regulations coming into effect in May 2018 will increase their legal obligations in respect of protecting personal data.
Commenting on the survey, BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall said: ‘Cyber attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses but costs from disruption to their business and productivity. It can also increase confidence among the businesses and clients who they engage with online’.
‘Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber attacks. Accreditations can help businesses asses their own IT infrastructure, defend against cyber security breaches and mitigate the damage caused by an attack.’