Western countries are under attack from cybercriminals and rogue nations as never before, according to the UK’s cyber defence agency.
Attacks increased by nearly 7% from the year to 31 August compared to the year before, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found, with hacking attempts at a record high and numerous threats linked to ‘hostile’ states such as China and Russia.
The NCSC says that it had to deal with 777 cyber incidents over the last year, up from 723 in the previous 12 months.
Included in these statistics was the global hacking campaign orchestrated on US tech firm SolarWinds, which greatly impacted the US government.
A Chinese state-backed hack targeting Microsoft Exchange servers in March was another huge scale cyber breach, with the aim of stealing information such as intellectual property.
The increased cyber threat is resulting in companies bolstering their security to defend themselves from any future attacks and boosting the revenues of companies in the sector.
Corero Network Security PLC (AIM:CNS), a provider of high-performance distribution denial of service attacks, announced earlier today that it had secured several significant customer orders totalling over US$4mln.
A spokesperson for Corero confirmed that it has noticed “the level of attacks is growing significantly year-on-year”.
Cyber protection is now a necessity, with the University of Oxford the latest to thwart an attempted attack thanks to implanting NCSC’s services.
‘Ransomware’ attacks, where hackers lock users of their data systems and demand a ransom fee before allowing the host back, was cited in the agency’s report as one of the fastest growing dangers.
Lindy Cameron (NYSE:CAM), chief executive of the NSCS, said that ransomware is “now the most immediate cyber-security threat to UK businesses”.
Sophos, a global cybersecurity company said it expects cyber-attacks to become more common over the next 12 months, with specialist hackers providing a ‘playbook’ of techniques to different adversary groups to allow them to launch their own attacks.