An alarming number of UK businesses were hit by security incidents last year


Some 36% of businesses in the UK were affected by at least one IT security incident over the course of last year, according to some new research.

This figure comes from a Harvey Nash survey of 200 IT security pros (spotted by Computing), and it produced a number of illuminating statistics concerning cybersecurity in the business world.

For example, 24% of respondents said that their company had been hit by a DDoS (or plain Denial of Service) attack during 2015.

However, the most common form of attack was phishing or social engineering at 73%, followed by your traditional malware at 53%.

When it came to the damage these attacks did, just over half of the reported incidents caused some loss of revenue to the business in question. Just over a third (35%) said there was also damage to their reputation in terms of customer confidence being weakened – which can be an even more costly forfeit in the longer term.

Crisis in confidence

The Harvey Nash report also pointed to a lack of general understanding of IT security, and found that many security professionals didn't have much confidence in the big cheeses presiding over their companies.

Indeed, 45% of respondents felt that their board of directors either had a "major gap" in their comprehension of cyber-security risks, or they just didn't understand the risks at all. And many of those surveyed felt the same way about CEOs and other C-level executives.

Of course, if security in the business world can be regarded as wobbly, then who knows how you'd describe the state of security for consumers – a report which emerged this week on the worst passwords being used in 2015 was the usual complete cringe-fest.

As ever, the most prevalent password was '123456' followed by that old classic, 'password'. That must make security pros just want to give up and go home…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).