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The new National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency this week issued a warning about the “significant and growing” cyber threat to UK businesses.
According to their joint report, The Cyber Threat to UK Business, “the UK has been hit by 188 high-level attacks which were serious enough to warrant NCSC involvement” in the three months since the NCSC was created, and “the past year has been punctuated by cyber attacks on a scale and boldness not seen before.”
The report explains that there are three features that underpin current cyber threat trends:
- technical expertise is not necessary to carry out attacks
- a broadening attack surface leads to more opportunities for attackers
- threat actors are learning from, and using one another’s skills and capabilities
These factors “amount to a significant cyber threat to UK business.”
Worse, the threat can easily be mitigated. Indeed, “most commonly exploited vulnerabilities in 2016 were well known” and organisations were leaving themselves “unnecessarily vulnerable”.