British businesses increasingly losing revenue as a result of cyber-attacks, says study

Businesses across four countries, including the UK, are increasingly losing revenue as a result of cyber-attacks, according to a new study.

Research from IT security group Malwarebytes found that, in the past year, 40 per cent of businesses had been targeted by so-called ‘ransomware’ – a form of malicious computer software which will block access to networks unless a ‘ransom’, or sum of money, is promptly paid.

Of four countries surveyed, Britain was among the worst hit – with 57 per cent of British businesses reporting such an attack.

The research found that more than half of businesses hit by cyber-attacks in the UK are likely to eventually pay up.

Furthermore, a fifth of British companies targeted by such attacks told Malwarebytes that each attack cost them around £7,500 to unlock their computer networks and access their files.

A Malwarebytes spokesperson said: “[In Britain] infections tend to be more widespread… than they are in other nations, and ransomware had much more of an impact on the ability of UK-based organisations in terms of their loss of revenue resulting from the attacks.”

British businesses are strongly advised to back-up their files and take virus protection and IT security precautions to reduce their chances of falling victim to an attack.