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UK businesses see cyber attack surge during lockdown

Jasper Hart
July 13, 2020

File-sharing and IoT applications are popular targets

UK businesses saw a record surge in attempted security breaches between April and June, according to research from business ISP Beaming.

According to Beaming’s research, UK businesses experienced almost 177,000 separate attempts to breach their systems each on average, equal to one every 45 seconds.

This was a 13 per cent increase on Q1 2020 and the highest recorded level of cyber attack activity since Beaming began tracking attempts in 2016.

Analysts at the company identified 341,000 unique IP addresses used to attack UK businesses in the time frame, 37,000 of which were traced to locations in China.

They also identified increasing numbers of IP addresses in Taiwan (up 32 per cent quarterly to 32,000) and the USA (up 13 per cent to 17,000).

File-sharing applications were targeted more often, seeing a 27 per cent increase to reach 5,900 per company. IoT applications remained the most common targets, attracting more than 14,000 attacks per company.

Beaming analyses thousands of UK businesses in real time, but does not further disclose its methodology, in order to prevent aiding cyber attacks.

“The cybercriminals came out in force as the UK went into lockdown and launched a barrage of attacks on businesses,” said Beaming managing director Sonia Blizzard.

“We’ve all relied more on the internet to work, shop and communicate in the past few months, and our analysis shows that due to this change in circumstances this environment hasn’t just become busier – it’s required us to better protect ourselves too.

“Businesses of all sizes need to take action today to improve their resilience to cyber attacks and keep their employees and data as secure as possible. Leaders must think beyond the basic protection most have today and boost business resilience with more sophisticated defences that incorporate technology, training and robust security policies.”

Earlier in the year, Beaming estimated that UK cyber crime targeting businesses has doubled since 2015.

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