Large numbers of public sector cyber attacks

New research has revealed that nearly a fifth of UK public sector organisations reported over 1,000 cyber attacks last year.

SolarWinds gathered the results from central government departments and NHS trusts in a recent Freedom of Information survey looking into the cyber security practices and challenges faced.

Despite the fact that 98 per cent of responding public sector organisations are aware of the government’s Minimum Cybersecurity Standard, and over 95 per cent have firewalls, antivirus, and malware protection in place, the research shows that 95 per cent of respondents have suffered phishing attacks, 88 per cent have experienced malware, as well as competing priorities (71 per cent) and budget constraints (67 per cent) restricting cyber security maintenance.

While over a third (38 per cent) of respondents claimed to have experienced no cyberattacks in 2018, compared to 30 per cent who said the same for 2017, there was also an increase in the number of organisations reporting in excess of 1,000 cyber attacks. In fact, 18 per cent of respondents said this was the case in 2018, up from 14 per cent in 2017.

Sascha Giese, from SolarWinds, said: “While preparation is generally high throughout the public sector, the growth in large numbers of attacks shows that there is still significant risk. These results highlight the importance of finding simple-to-use, affordable, and scalable security solutions that can work across the varied IT environments like those in the NHS and central government, to ensure the most comprehensive protection available for these vital services.”

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