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Press Release

Businesses face over 500 potential cyberattacks every second, says BT

Thu 26 Oct 2023

More than 530 signals of potential cyberattacks are experienced by businesses every second, according to new data released by BT. This is equivalent to 46 million signals every day across the world.

With businesses of every size going digital, the most targeted industries in the past 12 months are IT, defence, banking and insurance. A total of 19.7% of malware sightings are directed towards these high-stakes targets.

The retail, hospitality and education sectors are also at high risk, accounting for 14.9% of malware sightings in the past 12 months.

Criminals often capitalise on seasonal sales and spikes in online traffic, which makes the festive period a particular worry for retailers.

Small businesses, startups, and charities are also finding themselves in the firing line. Approximately 785,000 cybercrimes were found across UK charities in the last 12 months.

This suggests that cyber criminals are targeting organisations and sectors that are less ‘traditional’ targets, and may not have the security tools in place to protect them.

The use of big data and connected tech is now so widespread that almost anyone can be a target.

Tris Morgan, Managing Director of Security at BT, said: “The volume of cyberthreats in the UK is rising at an alarming rate, so it’s really concerning that so many businesses and public services are leaving themselves open to attack. The fabric of the modern business has changed, and there’s now more connected tech for hackers to exploit, more valuable data to target and a bigger prize at stake if they make it through.”

Every 30 seconds, cybercriminals scan any device connected to the internet looking for weaknesses, using automation and machine learning to identify vulnerabilities in business defences. This is the digital equivalent of a burglar looking for an open window.

All of this means that the average business will have its network scanned and tested by cybercriminals over 3,000 times each day, so it is critical to have the right tools in place to identify and prevent against attacks, and to review these regularly.

These figures become particularly concerning when over half of businesses (61%) in the UK say that keeping up with cybersecurity measures is becoming increasingly difficult.

This is compounded by the challenge of keeping the whole organisation aware of the threats, with one in four (26%) businesses saying that this is their biggest pain point.

Darrin Reynolds, CISO at Edgio, said: “Cyberattacks can happen at any time, often without warning. BT’s latest statistics demonstrate that no organisation is safe from the threat cybercriminals pose and adequate security solutions are an absolute necessity in today’s climate.

“Beyond having the right tools, organisations can’t view cybersecurity in black and white. The reality is cybersecurity is a never-ending battle. It isn’t a performance, but rather, it’s like piano lessons, something you must practice every day without fail. It’s a process that needs to be managed, and simply relying on a tool is not enough. Businesses need to evaluate it across multiple levels and continually refine their approach.

“Although it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cyberattacks and risks involved, organisations should be playing for the win, not the shutout.

Organisations should be focused on outlasting and outscoring their opponents, rather than simply trying to prevent every attack. This requires a deep understanding of defences and the ability to adapt and respond quickly when needed.

Organisations must focus on defence and depth and be prepared to weather the challenges that come their way.”

BT Launches New Cybercrime Podcast

BT has launched a new podcast series explaining the remarkable true stories behind some of the world’s most harrowing cyber hacks.

True Cybercrime Stories by BT, narrated by Adrian Lester, star of The Undeclared War, is designed to speak to the 43% of decision-makers that turn to podcasts for business-related content.

Adrian Lester, Actor and Lead Narrator of the True Cybercrime Stories podcast, said: “Truth is so often stranger than fiction, and in the dark underbelly of cybercrime that adage certainly rings true. It is fascinating when you scratch beneath the surface to see an invisible war going on.”


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