UK businesses attacked online 280,000 times each by cybercriminals in 2018

UK businesses were subjected to 281,094 internet-borne cyberattacks each last year, according to analysis from Beaming, the business ISP. 

The volume of attacks on UK companies was more than a quarter (23 percent) higher in 2018 than it was in 2017, surging to over 1,500 attacks a day on average in the final two months of the year.

Beaming's analysts identified more than 1.3 million unique IP addresses used by cybercriminals to launch cyberattacks on UK companies in 2018. Just under a fifth (16 percent) of these IP addresses were located in China. Much of the cyberattack activity in November and December was traced to IP addresses in Brazil and Russia. 12 percent and seven percent of the IP addresses used to target UK companies in 2018 were located in Brazil and Russia respectively.

The most commonly target for cybercriminals in 2018 were IoT applications such as building control systems and networked security cameras that could be controlled remotely over the internet, as well as network device administration tools that are often unsecured by default. On average, businesses were subjected to 489 attacks a day targeting these systems in the final quarter of 2018. File sharing applications attracted 277 attacks a day and databases 120 attacks a day over the same period.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments: “As an ISP, we can see what is happening on the internet and take steps to help customers protect themselves and those they do business with. We’ve seen a huge surge in criminal activity online in the final months of 2018. UK businesses were attacked at least once every two minutes last year, making it the worst year on record for cyberattacks.”

 “While there is plenty that we can do at a network level to minimise the threat of online attacks, businesses need to take cyber security seriously and put in place multiple layers of protection to ensure they don’t expose their people, assets, customers and businesses partners to undue risk.”

Methodology

Beaming has analysed cyberattacks in real time targeting thousands of UK-based businesses since the beginning of 2016 to better understand their nature and origin. From this, it is able to calculate the average number of attacks businesses receive and use the results of the analysis to help organisations improve their cyber security.

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