A new report by cyber security and data analytics firm CybSafe shows that ransomware attacks in the UK doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with almost a quarter of the incidents reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) relating to ransomware attacks, up from just over 10% last year.
Phishing is the primary cause of all cyber breaches, accounting for 40 per cent of all cyber incidents. The education sector, retail and manufacturing are a particular focus of cyber criminals’ attention. Ransomware attacks accounted for a third (32 per cent) of all cyber incidents targeting schools and universities in the first half of 2021.
In 2019, British firms were hit by nearly 5,000 ransomware attacks and nearly £210 million was paid in ransoms. The UK was sixth on the list of high-value countries for cyber criminals, with the USA, in first place, paying $1.3 billion.