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UK Government raises awareness on cyber security

According to UK government research published this week, the average cost of the most severe online security breaches for a big business now starts at £1.46 million ($2.23 million)– up from £600,000 ($919 680) in 2014. With 90 percent of large organizations and 74 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) having suffered an information security breach, the UK government is now on a mission to raise awareness on cyber security and threats.

“With 9 out of 10 respondents reporting a cyber breach in the past year, every organization needs to be considering how they defend and deal with the cyber threats they face. Breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated, often involving internal staff to amplify their effect, and the impacts we are seeing are increasingly long-lasting and costly to deal with,” said Cyber Security Director at PwC Andrew Miller in a written statement.

The Information Security Breaches Survey 2015, published by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, shows the rising costs of malicious software attacks and staff-related breaches. For SMEs, the most severe breaches cost as much as £310,800 ($476,394), up from £115,000 ($176,272) in 2014. For companies with more than 500 employees the average cost of the most severe breach is now between £1.46 million and £3.14 million

The UK government had already launched “Ten Steps to Cyber Securiy ” guidance for business. Originally published in 2012, it is now used by around two thirds of the FTSE350. According to the UK government’s website, more and more firms are taking action to tackle the cyber threat and nearly half (49%) of all organizations have achieved a ‘Cyber Essentials’ badge to protect themselves from common internet threats, or plan to get one in the next year.

Actions to prevent cyber threats are multiplying throughout the world. The Federal Bureau of Investigation for instance, created an entirely new branch of operations aimed squarely at fighting cybercrime. New cyber security businesses are even seizing the day. Startup Cybereason, an Israel-based firm, closed a $25 million Series B fundraising round last month. Launched in 2014, the platform provides continual surveillance of activities to detect a cyberthreat more quickly, offering users a real-time report into a potential attack as it occurs. US-based security firm Cryptosense takes the unusual step of hacking their clients to prevent them from, well, getting hacked. Startup Zenedge, which raised $3.5 million in funding last October, specializes in detecting DDoS attacks, SQL injections of malicious code commands and other cyber attacks – to annihilate them.

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