55% of UK firms report cyber-attacks

Even though there is no fool-proof way to stop cyber-criminals, the technology exists to recover data instantly says Redstor.

More than half of UK firms are suffering cyber-attacks and most admit they are under-prepared for data breaches, according to a report by global insurers Hiscox.

Redstor, a leading provider of next-generation data management, including cloud backup, disaster recovery, archiving, search and data migration services, says businesses in emerging markets like Africa need to be alert to the risks that global attacks could have on their operations.

The progressive data company points to research which found that cyber-attacks are up 15% on last year to 55% – and almost three quarters of firms were ranked as “novices” in terms of cyber readiness.

A survey of more than 5,400 small, medium and large businesses across seven countries revealed that average losses from breaches soared from $229,000 (£176,000) to $369,000, an increase of 61%.

Despite this, the Hiscox report said the percentage of firms scoring top marks on cyber security had fallen, with UK organisations doing particularly badly.

Gareth Wharton, head of Cyber at Hiscox, said the low UK spending could be driven by the large number of small businesses in Britain.

“They may feel like they won’t be targeted, as we tend to only read about large breaches in the press. If they incorrectly feel that they won’t be targeted, they may be less likely to spend on cyber security.”

Businesses are now 40% more likely to be the victim of an attack than a break-in.

Security incidents and data breaches can bring companies to a complete stand-still, cripple their teams and ruin reputations.

Redstor asserts that not having access to business data for even a few hours can cause irreparable damage in the form of lost business, catastrophic fines and reputational damage.

“Today’s customers are less brand loyal so are more likely to jump ship to a competitor after a negative experience. The average cost of downtime, according to Gartner, is more than $5,600 per minute – and the very future of an organisation can be defined by how quickly it responds,” says Shaun Searle, Country Manager – African Regions at Redstor. 

Recovery is key

Redstor points out that even though there is no fool-proof way to stop cyber-criminals, the technology exists to recover data instantly.

“So, should an organisation suffer a malware or ransomware attack – or any other activity which threatens operations – downtime and disruption are no longer an issue.

Selected files can be streamed on demand, enabling employees to continue working seamlessly 24/7/365,” says Searle.

Unlike other disaster recovery solutions, there’s no need for an organisation to restore all of their data from Redstor before starting to operate again.

The most critical files, the ones that need to be accessed first, can be streamed immediately and on demand – enabling staff to continue working seamlessly on any device.

Importantly, while staff work on these files, the remaining data will be intelligently restored in the background.  No delays, downtime, or disruption, according to the company.

Searle adds, “Businesses may not be able to guarantee that they can avoid a cyber-attack, but they can recover physical, virtual or cloud-hosted machines to VMware or Hyper-V in just a few clicks, and keep on working, making recovery targets a thing of the past.” 

Regulation brings change

The Hiscox report also reveals that new regulation has prompted action, with eight in ten UK firms saying they had made changes since the introduction of the tough new data protection rules last year.

Companies today need complete visibility and control over their data to achieve compliance with data protection legislation and regulation such as GDPR.

Searle adds that there are equally relevant and important implications for the South African market given the significance of the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI).

“Being able to quickly and easily access data is crucial and forward-thinking companies are now considering long-term data management strategies that give them hands-on control and the agility to respond to shifts in the landscape,” he adds.