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10/9/2019
11:00 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

UK Businesses Feel the Heat as Cyber Attacks Rise 243% Over the Summer

UK-based business ISP analyzed data from its customers and found that the number of cyber attacks its customers experienced had increased over last year's summer period by 243%.

Beaming, the Hastings, UK-based business ISP, analyzed data from its customers and found that the number of cyber attacks its customers experienced had increased over last year's summer period by 243%.

That means that 157,528 attacks were found to be waged on average for all of Beaming's customers between July and September, compared to 45,970 during the same three months of 2018.

They found almost half a million unique IP addresses used to launch online cyber attacks on UK businesses this summer. The level of attacks originating from IP addresses in China more than doubled. Beaming also found a large number of the attacks were originating in Taiwan, Brazil and Russia.

Twenty percent of the cyber attacks that were identified by Beaming were found to target IoT devices that could be remotely controlled over the Internet. Six percent of attacks sought to infiltrate file sharing services.

Sonia Blizzard, the managing director of Beaming, commented on the findings that, "Previous summers have been relatively quiet when it comes to cybercrime, but the hackers haven't yet taken a break this year. Throughout 2019 we have witnessed new highs in the volume of cyber attacks hitting organizations in the UK and also the number of active agents behind those attempts."

Blizzard went on to say that, "We are tackling more and more malicious code at a network level to minimize the threat of online attacks to our customers. The hackers are after the weakest link they can find, so companies need to boost their resilience to these sustained, indiscriminate attacks. They can do this by ensuring their software and cyber security defenses are up-to-date, putting in place measures such as managed firewalls and educating employees to help them avoid the main risks they could be exposed to."

This result shows the two attack fronts that can threaten an enterprise. First, the organization could be assaulted by botnets of compromised IoT machines. This sort of attack can result in a DDoS or other interruption of service. The other fork of this threat means that the technology used to conduct their business could be hijacked and sabotaged. This may end up breaking key processes that are needed to conduct business.

Beaming's results are for its sphere of influence only, and can't be indiscriminately extended to wider geographic areas. The targets that cybercriminals select are based on their perceived value to the criminals, not just their physical location.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

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