UK firms suffer the highest number of cyber attacks in Europe

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Thirty seven per cent of UK firms said they “cope comfortably” with the number of security incidents (Source: Getty)

UK firms suffer the highest number of cyber attacks in Europe in any given week, according to a new poll.

UK firms are second only to US firms when it comes to being attacked. However, British firms are far more likely to have specialised tools in place and have the fastest response times of the 600 firms polled by data analytics firm Splunk and research firm IDC.

The study also found that UK firms are increasingly targeted compared to other countries with 16 per cent of UK firms having seen a 10 – 20 per cent increase in attacks versus 12 per cent overall.

Thirty seven per cent of UK firms said they “cope comfortably” with the number of security incidents, compared with 27 per cent overall.

Earlier this month, more than 200,000 individuals in 150 countries were targeted by a cyber virus called "Wannacry" that brought down NHS services and hit companies such as O2 owner Telefonica, Nissan and Renault.

Read more: Cyber crime and geopolitical events pose a threat to UK businesses

“The amount of time companies are spending on analysing and assessing incidents is a huge problem,” said Duncan Brown, associate vice president, security practice, IDC.

“The highest-paid, most skilled staff are being tied up, impacting the cost and efficiency of security operations. This is exacerbated when considered alongside the security skills shortage, which has most impact in high-value areas like incident investigation and response. Organisations must ensure that they are using their data effectively to gain key insights quickly to determine cause and minimise impact.”

Read more: Fancy a career change? Cyber security experts are now earning €1m

“It’s time to change how we approach incident response,” said Haiyan Song, senior vice president, security markets, Splunk.

“As attacks become more advanced, frequent, and take advantage of IT complexity, we must become proactive in our approach to security – how else will we know we have been breached? As demonstrated by the swift, global spread of WannaCry, it has never been more important for organisations to proactively monitor, analyse and investigate to verify whether there are real threats, then prioritise and remediate the most critical."

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