Cyber-Attacks in UK Grew by 140% in 2018


Cyber-attacks in the UK grew by an alarming 140% in 2018, according to a cyber-threat landscape report by eSentire that discusses the most impacted industries in the UK and which types of attacks were the most successful.

Attacks on IoT devices have also seen significant growth, with “a growing trend in IoT exploits targeting cameras, door controllers, surveillance equipment and media devices throughout our global customer base. In the UK, the vast majority of the observed exploits specifically impacted devices manufactured by AVTech, a leading manufacturer of video surveillance and monitoring equipment.”

The researchers found that attackers were keen to use Dropbox-theme phishing lures. However, the report found that employees in the UK are better than their global counterparts at preventing malicious attacks, including phishing attacks, despite evidence that organizations in the UK had a higher percentage of exploit attacks than the global average.

“In the UK, this increase in global botnet activity drove significant increases in the number of exploit (10%), malware (45%) and scanning (15%) detections observed by eSentire during 2018. The only attack type to see a decline was phishing, which while still a significant threat to UK businesses, saw roughly 20 percent decrease in observed incidents,” the report said.

While no industry is without its risk, marketing and manufacturing were reportedly the industries most impacted by cyber-attacks. “Marketing agencies received a significant number of Apple-related lures in 2018. This concentration of Apple lures in an industry perceived to have a high number of Apple desktops and laptops reveals that threat actors are customizing lures to specific sectors in an attempt to improve their success rate,” the report said.  

The report also found that email is one of the most common attack vectors and that “reducing this attack surface will protect UK organizations from both phishing and email-borne malware.”

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