London's top attractions besieged by more than 100 million cyber attacks

London skyline at sunset

Kew Gardens, National History Museum, Tate Gallery and Imperial War Museum have been hammered by a total of 109 million cyber attacks over the last few years according to Parliament Street.

The research firm issued a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the four leading tourist attractions in London to uncover just how secure their IT processes are.

Kew Gardens made up the majority of these attacks, saying it had been a cyber attack victim a mammoth 86 million times just last year. This reflected a year-on-year increase of 438%.

The Imperial War Museum was attacked 10 million times, while the Natural History Museum reported 875,414 incidents and the collective Tate Modern and Tate Britain 494,709 attacks.

"Hackers are increasingly targeting organisations which appear to hold large amounts of personal financial data," said Tim Dunton, managing director of Nimbus Hosting.

"The high volume of attacks in this case is reflective of the threat posed by cyber criminals going to extreme lengths to obtain confidential information."

Spyware was the most prevalent type of attack, accounting for 82 million of the attacks, while information leak attempts were identified in 1.6 million cases.

"Tackling this problem means extra investment in encryption technologies, security certificates and necessary safeguards to keep membership details safe from outsider threats," Dunton said.

Sheila Flavell, COO of FDM Group said criminals are attacking tourist attraction infrastructure because they are aware such businesses hold a significant amount of data that can be sold on or used maliciously.

"These incidents are a reminder of the urgent need to increase the UK's level of cyber expertise by getting more people into the tech industry," Flavell said.

"To achieve this, we need a much sharper focus on boosting interest in this critical area, recruiting more women and encouraging a diverse pool of talent so that we have the skills needed to tackle this very real and relentless threat."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.