Just under half of all British businesses were victim to at least one cyber security breach last year, according to a government report. The 2017 report, commissioned by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, found that 46 per cent of all businesses discovered at least one cyber security breach in 2016, with the average cost to firms ranging between 1,570 and 19,600. It pointed out that larger firms tend to incur much more substantial costs from cyber security attacks, which it said could reflect the increased complexity of the breaches, or because they have more sophisticated systems that are harder to repair. The report, which is part of the government s National Cyber Security Programme, warned that costs could come from the loss of customers, data or assets, handling customer complaints, and dishing out compensation, fines or legal fees. This comes after cyber experts warned1 that improvements to banks cyber systems could displace some of the threats onto other sectors, such as financial advice businesses. The cost can rise into the millions, with the loss often ultimately borne by the financial sector.
According to the government survey, only a third of the 1,523 businesses questioned have a formal policy on cyber security in place. However, it found that small businesses were more likely to have installed cyber security systems than they were last year, with almost a quarter now having formal processes in place, up from 15 per cent in 2016. The study, which was conducted in January and February this year, said this aligns with the increasing importance these smaller businesses now attach to cyber security. A positive picture was also painted in terms of the speed with which businesses identify breaches, with 90 per cent of firms recognising an attack within 24 hours.
The report found that 60 per cent of the 350 financial firms questioned outsource their cyber security to specialist providers. Marcus Scott, chief operating officer at think tank the City UK, said cyber security is increasingly becoming one of the biggest challenges facing businesses. While the average cost of a breach is 20,000, this can rise into the millions, with the loss often ultimately borne by the financial sector. Earlier this year, the City UK set up a task force to help boost understanding of cyber risk and encourage firms to take action to tackle the problem, such as working on system recovery issues and sharing best practices across other businesses. It also recommended that cyber security be managed effectively by boards, echoing advice in the report about the need for oversight of security issues at a board level. Other recommendations from the City UK included making sure cyber risk is a part of the entire business strategy. The government report found there were more breaches reported by those firms taking action to protect themselves, which it suggested could indicate that they are better at identifying when their systems have been compromised.
Nearly all IT decision makers in large multinational corporations have experienced a cyber-attack
BT launches a competition to find innovative new ideas from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aimed at protecting the UK s critical infrastructure and keeping public sector and business data secure. BT SME Award 2017: Securing the Nation will give SMEs the chance to showcase their new technology and product ideas within three award categories: Cyber Security; Data collection, mining and analytics; and Digital Innovation . The winning entrants are expected to demonstrate how their new ideas will address key challenges in securing data for businesses and public sector organisations. For the data collection, mining and analytics category, BT is searching for SMEs with ideas for solutions that can help the Police and the Home Office tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.
Not enough effective data
There is currently not enough effective data and insight to tackle this growing crime, and so innovative, new solutions have the opportunity to make a real impact . The competition is an opportunity to demonstrate that technology can be used for good, and SMEs with digital technology experience, who may never have thought about how technology can be used to combat trafficking, are encouraged to apply. There is a total prize pot of 30,000 across all three categories . The judges will award each category winner a cash prize of 10,000, plus six months flex membership at TechHub s sold out London start-up space which includes access to the London and all global TechHub spaces, plus the opportunity to network with the community of members all working on technology products.
All three winners will have the opportunity to work with BT to explore technical and commercial partnerships to bring their solutions to market with BT. The issue of cyber security is increasingly forming part of board level discussions at large companies because of the rapidly escalating and evolving nature of the threat . Recent research from BT and KPMG reveals that 97 per cent of IT decision makers in large multinational corporations have experienced a cyber-attack, with half of them reporting an increase in the last two years.
Companies remain unprepared
However, only a fifth of respondents are confident that their organisation is fully prepared against the threat of cyber-attacks . The latest BT Infinity Lab competition is aimed at developing new innovative ways of helping organisations of all sizes to address the threat. Ben Gummer, minister for the cabinet office and paymaster general, says, Small and medium-sized businesses make a huge contribution to our economy and account for over 99 per cent of all private sector businesses .
Entrepreneurs, risk-takers, family businesses and start-ups have created more than 2.7 million jobs and launched almost a million new businesses since 2010.
But there is more we can do which is why the government is committed to spending 1 in every 3 with small businesses by 2020 . By doing so, we will harness the knowledge, skills and experience of our SMEs and use them to improve our public services. Colm O Neill, MD major and public sector at BT, says, Cyber security is a really important issue for the UK public sector and businesses of all sizes . BT has developed world class capability through protecting its own and its customers networks and we recognise that some of the most innovative ideas often come from our diverse SME community.
This initiative aims to provide a platform for these ideas, and an opportunity for SMEs to develop them into solutions that will tackle real world challenges, including the issue of modern slavery . We are really excited to see the results, and to work alongside these organisations to ensure the UK continues to lead the way in security.
Elizabeth Varley, co-founder & global CEO of TechHub, says, This is the fourth year of TechHub s partnership with BT to provide a boost to growing technology companies .
We are proud to join BT in supporting those startups that could make a big impact to securing our world in the future.
Further reading on BT cyber security
An ex-Commando has spoken of his shock and anger after callous thieves took two prestige cars from the family s Carnoustie driveway in an audacious overnight raid. Calum Owens black Range Rover Evoque and his wife s Audi Q5 Quattro were taken from their Anderson Place home in Carnoustie overnight on Thursday. They were later found badly damaged and abandoned in Dundee.
The damaged Range Rover
Mixed martial arts trainer Mr Owens said his Range Rover may be written off because of the damage it has sustained, with the other car also requiring repairs likely to run into four figures. And he condemned the culprits who he said had destroyed the family s sense of peace and security just months after moving into a new home. The privately-registered cars, both black, had been parked outside the couple s home before being taken sometime between 11.30pm on Thursday and 3am the following morning.
They broke in via the front door, got the keys and have hit the jackpot as far as they were concerned, said 38-year-old Mr Owens.
In one sense we re lucky that s as far as they got, but they have taken the sense of security and safety away from us as a family.
I m a light sleeper but I never heard anything.
The first I heard was when police knocked on the door at around 4am after a neighbour reported vehicles haring about.
Police recovered the cars in Dundee s Balgowan Avenue within hours, but both bear the heavy scars of the crooks off-roading exploits.
The Range Rover has extensive damage to its suspension and may be written off and the Audi has suffered damage to its alloys, but may be more badly damaged than that, said Mr Owens.
It s in the hands of the insurance company now but I am just so upset and angry that someone could do this.
It is beyond me why someone would want to do this to someone, I cannot understand it . My wife is very upset, we all are. Scenes of crime officers were at the couple s house yesterday to search for forensic evidence which might lead them to the culprits.
A battered alloy on the Audi
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: Police continue to make enquiries into the incident and to trace those responsible.
Anyone who was in the area of Anderson Place, Carnoustie or Balgowan Avenue, Dundee and saw or heard any suspicious activity is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.
Alternatively information can be passed to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
We would again urge residents to remember the importance of car and home security and we issue the following advice:
Keep car and house keys in a secure place inside your home, away from the front door and out of sight, not on display on a hook, table or other furnishing, where they may be easily seen and taken.
Make sure windows and doors are locked, don t leave an open invitation for thieves to enter and make a quick grab for car or house keys.
Never leave your car unattended with the keys in it .
Particularly in cold weather, when it might be tempting to leave your car running whilst the windscreen and windows defrost.
It s preferable to keep your vehicles in a locked garage, however if you are parking on the street or in a driveway, consider parking in a well-lit area and consider whether there is CCTV coverage.
Look out for your neighbours and report any suspicious activity to Police Scotland.