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DCMS: A third of businesses experience "weekly" cyber attacks

Government data suggests senior managers are more worried about cyber attacks than ever before

The UK government is urging businesses to immediately strengthen their cyber security practices after figures revealed an increase in the frequency of cyber attacks. 

Almost a third of businesses said they now experience breaches or cyber attacks on a weekly basis, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

As a matter of urgency, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is now encouraging organisations to follow simple steps to reduce the risks of falling victim to an attack.

These include the adoption of the Cyber Essentials scheme, which is government-back certification, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also being directed to the NCSC's Small Business Guide.

For larger firms, the NCSC recommends using the Board Toolkit as a way of getting company executives to act on cyber resilience. 

"It is vital that every organisation take cyber security seriously as more and more business is done online and we live in a time of increasing cyber risk," cyber minister Julia Lopez said.

"No matter how big or small your organisation is, you need to take steps to improve digital resilience now and follow the free government advice to help keep us all safe online." 

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The government's own data also suggested that four out of five UK senior managers (82%) now see cyber security as "very high" or at least "fairly high" in their business priorities. That's up from 77% from a similar survey the government sent out in 2021.

The report also found that 40% of businesses were using at least one managed service provider but only 13% of reviewed the risks posed by immediate suppliers. 

To help combat the threat from a legal standpoint, the government said it was also planning to update the Network and Information Systems (NIS) regulations. This piece of legislation sets out cyber security rules for essential services, such as water, energy, transport, healthcare and digital infrastructure. The aim is to avoid mass disruption, similar to the Colonial Pipeline hack from last year. 

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