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Five Takeaways from the UK Gov Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022

Executing on security fundamentals and dealing with perennial threats continues to be top of mind for UK security leaders and IT professionals looking to better secure their organisations. 

Companies that can rely on a mature security operations practice will find themselves more secure, more resilient, and better able to adapt to the multitude of internal and external risk factors. 

Part of developing that practice includes the regular review and evaluation of the types of cyber security breaches UK organisations face, as well as how they react and respond to them. 

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey is an annual qualitative survey conducted by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which “explores the policies, processes, and approaches to cyber security for businesses, charities, and educational institutions.” The most recent edition, published last week on March 30th of 2022, contains a wealth of information, and deserves a full read.

However, there are five major takeaways Arctic Wolf has identified as crucial for UK organisations to understand. 

Attacks Are Not Slowing 

According to the survey, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack in the previous 12 months, a number consistent with the rate of attack over the previous five years. It should be noted, however, that the development of a more mature security system leads to more attack identifications. This means that organisations without strong cybersecurity might be being attacked more frequently - without even realising it.  

Phishing and Ransomware Remain Top Concerns 

Among respondents who identified an attack, over 83% of them were hit by phishing attempts, while approximately one in five faced down a DoS attack, malware or ransomware. Yet even though ransomware ranked lower in terms of actual attacks, it has become the biggest worry for many organisations.

The Arctic Wolf State of Cybersecurity 2022 Trends report found that, of the over 300 global IT and security leaders surveyed, 70% rank ransomware as their top concern. Couple that with the Cyber Security Breaches Survey finding that 56% of UK businesses have a policy not to pay ransoms in place, and the need for 24x7 coverage of your organisation’s attack surface through a product like MDR (Managed Detection and Response) has never been greater. 

Outsourcing is the New Normal 

Over 40% of global businesses do not have any staff members assigned to security as their full-time or primary function. Without a dedicated cybersecurity team or SOC, security is often relegated to an afterthought for well-intentioned individuals with competing priorities.

Outsourcing in these situations can save time and money, as well as significantly improve an organisation’s security posture. In fact, more than half of UK businesses - no matter the industry or size - currently outsource their IT and cyber security to an external supplier. Respondents identified access to greater expertise, more resources, and higher cyber security standards as the primary reasons for outsourcing. 

A Shocking Lack of Incident Response Plans 

The survey found that a mere 19% of businesses have a formal incident response plan, while only 39% of them have assigned roles should an incident occur. Without the dedicated support of a solution like the Arctic Wolf Concierge Security® Team - who provide 24x7 continuous monitoring of a customer’s network by a team of security professionals - they have little chance to respond to and recover from attack, leaving their organisation at severe financial, operational, and reputational risk. 

Cyber Insurance Policies Are on the Rise ... And So Are Premiums 

With ransomware continuing to be both a threat and concern, it is not surprising that many companies now turn to cyber insurance to minimise the financial impact of these attacks. In fact, 43% of UK businesses currently have an insurance policy that covers cyber risk. But as more organisations turn to cyber insurance policies, the premiums continue to rise.

Globally, 30% of businesses have seen their premiums increase over the past year, due to factors ranging from a recent breach within the policy holder’s environment, to the results of a security audit, or to an increased potential of a policyholder becoming the target of attackers.  

Arctic Wolf Can Help 

As this survey reveals, cybersecurity continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In a time of new sophisticated technologies, emerging threats, and a growing attack landscape, it’s never been more important to ensure your organisation’s security.  

Arctic Wolf is the global leader in security operations, delivering the first cloud-native security operations platform to end cyber risk. Powered by threat telemetry spanning endpoint, network, and cloud sources, the Arctic Wolf® Security Operations Cloud ingests and analyses trillions of security events each week to enable critical outcomes for most security use cases. The Arctic Wolf® Platform delivers automated threat detection and response at scale and empowers organisations of any size to stand up world-class security operations with the push of a button. 

About the Author

Jason joined Arctic Wolf at the start of its International Expansion in to EMEA. He works with customers to achieve their desired Security Outcomes and dramatically improve their Security Posture through the adoption of Arctic Wolf Solutions and Concierge service. He brings a wealth of experience from over 15 years working for leading technology vendors and over 10 years with global organisations as a Technical Architect.

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