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Cyber crime cost to businesses in the South East last year was in excess of £900K

Cyber crime is reported to have cost businesses in the South East region over £900,000 last year and that’s just the crimes that were actually reported to the police.

With cybercrime continuing to be massively underreported across the region, it’s likely that the real figure is much higher and many of the ones that were reported did not include details of financial losses and did not account for the potential lost business, IT resourcing to deal with incidents and the costs of recovery.

What we do know is that the average cost of cyber crime to small businesses is at least £4,180, so there has never been a better time to learn how you can protect your business from cyber attacks and the financial losses that follow.

From April – December last year, businesses in the South East reported 264 cyber crime incidents to Action Fraud. This means, 264 businesses livelihoods were threatened by a cyber attack.

148 of these attacks were carried out by cyber criminals gaining access to social media or email accounts through phishing schemes or Zoom bombing. Phishing is usually done by sending out an email that looks legitimate and sends the recipient to a fake website and has them enter credentials to “verify” information, which is then stolen.

Zoom bombing takes place when an unwanted, disruptive intruder gains access to a video conference call.

Worryingly, 116 incidents and 44% of all attacks fell into the more severe category of a disruptive cyber incident. When broken down the key industries impacted by the more severe cyber incidents were manufacturing, education, human health/social work.

The key offences involved some aspect of extortion where cyber criminals obtain money or data through the likes of ransomware and data breaches or even a combination of the two.

In 7 reported incidents victims received extortion emails identical to the one below:

These mass email extortion campaigns are on the rise. Whereby cyber criminals make threats with no indication of access actually being gained to a business’s networks or data breach.

The offenders often blackmail and pressurise the victim through threats to damage reputation by leaking information to customers and removing or blocking the victims business from appearing in results on search engines. This can pose a threat to the sustainability of the business as prospective customers would not be able to search online for the business.

This pressure is often combined with the threat of a short payment window before further action takes place, and as a result, businesses are more likely to pay the ransom fee to recover their data or regain access.

The South East Cyber Resilience Centre (SECRC), is part of a network of centres being established across the country to provide businesses and organisations, with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to help improve cyber resilience.

The SECRC offers a range a membership options depending on what level of support businesses in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire need

Businesses in the South East can sign up for a free Core Membership online and receive a welcome pack full of practical resources and tools that will help you identify your risks and vulnerabilities and the steps you can take to increase your levels of protection. Through your membership, you will also get regular updates on new threats, designed to help you stay safer.

Ready to join us or looking for more information? Visit our membership page.


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