Small business owners across the country encountered almost 230,000 cyber attacks throughout 2016, according to a new report from the broadband provider, Beaming. In addition, the average number of cyber attacks reaching business firewalls breached the 1,000 per day mark for the first time ever in November, reinforcing the need for adequate cyber security and IT support.
The targets of the attacks by cyber criminals appeared to shift as the year progressed. In Q1 2016, around a third of all cyber attacks on UK SMEs involved attempts to gain access to company data. However, between Q1 and Q4 2016, there was a 310% rise in the amount of cyber attacks on connected devices controlled remotely online such as building control and CCTV systems. Putting that into even greater context, by the close of 2016, over 90% of all cyber attacks on UK SMEs targeted Internet of Things devices.
Beaming’s report also indicates that cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach, with fives times more unique IP addresses utilised to cloak attacks on Britain’s small business community in 2016, 98% of which were located overseas.
Increasingly, cyber attacks are computer scripts that trail the internet for glaring flaws and weaknesses in business firewalls. The very nature of the Internet of Things means that businesses are creating problems for their company’s firewalls by giving third-party suppliers direct access to any devices connected to their systems.
Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, said: “It is imperative that companies regularly review their firewall policies to ensure they are as restrictive as possible and prioritise security over convenience.
“Once inside, it is relatively easy for hackers to take over connected devices and lie dormant before misusing those assets as part of a bigger hack or distributed denial of service attack at a later stage.”
If you’re a small business owner that’s unsure whether or not your IT system is bullet-proofed against cyber attacks, at Nimbus we can work with you to refine your network setup. For many businesses operating online, their IT systems have simply evolved without a rock-solid strategy, leaving critical weaknesses open to cyber criminals. But you don’t have to deal with the threat of cyber attacks alone. Our team of experts can provide invaluable IT support, from antivirus hardware and software to virtual server solutions.
Simply pick up the phone and call us on 028 900 800 30 or fill in our simple online enquiry form to take advantage of our free audit of all your business systems.