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Government research into UK cyber security has found that two thirds of large businesses experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year. The research also shows that in some cases the cost of cyber breaches and attacks to business reached millions , but the most common attacks detected involved viruses, spyware or malware that could have been prevented.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that while one in four large firms experiencing a breach did so at least once a month, only half of all firms have taken any recommended actions to identify and address vulnerabilities. Even fewer, about a third of all firms, had formal written cyber security policies and only 10 percent had a cyber incident management plan in place.

Results from the survey were released alongside the Government’s Cyber Governance Health Check. This found almost half of the top FTSE 350 businesses regarded cyber attacks as the biggest threat to their business when compared with other key risks: up from 29 per cent in 2014.

Other key findings from the Cyber Governance Health Check were:

  • Only a third of the UK’s top 350 businesses understand the threat of a cyber attack;
  • Only a fifth of businesses have a clear view of the dangers of sharing information with third parties; and
  • Many firms are getting better at managing cyber risks, with almost two thirds now setting out their approach to cyber security in their annual report.

Free cyber security guidance and training for businesses, including the Cyber Essentials scheme, can be found here.

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