Monday 22 February 2021 6:56 pm

Exclusive: Half of businesses suffered a cyber-attack in last 12 months

Just over half (51%) of businesses in the UK have suffered a cyber-attack in the last 12 months, an issue becoming more prevalent with so many people working from home.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA), which quizzed nearly 200 businesses of all sizes and across various sectors, found the biggest barrier to implementing better cybersecurity practices during the pandemic were competing priorities, employees working remotely, and insufficient budgets.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the lack of security, according to the CIIA, increasing the speed and sophistication of cyber-attacks.

Chartered IIA chief executive John Wood said cybersecurity had never been more urgent, with so many people working from home because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The majority (91%) of businesses acknowledged implementing stronger cybersecurity would help fend off attacks, but only around two-thirds (65%) of businesses have ensured employees of all level are aware of their role in preventing cyber-attacks.

Michael Townsend, head of internal audit at Barts Health NHS Trust, added: “People issues, training and awareness raising are integral to effective cybersecurity protocols. The key is to continuously prioritise staff training, ensuring human defences are strong against potential attacks.”