70% of UK finance firms suffered cyber-attacks in 2020 – why, and how can things improve?

With 70% of UK financial firms suffering from cyber-attacks in 2020, Stephen Bradford, SVP EMEA at SailPoint, comments: “That 70% of the UK’s finance industry suffered a cyber-attack in 2020 is no surprise given the major dispersed and remote working shift the pandemic has caused. Homeworking made it far more difficult for IT teams to monitor the enterprise security perimeter – a perimeter that has become the users themselves, as hackers could immediately look to take advantage of multiple user access points.

“But the threat may have been made worse by UK consumers’ current level of cyber hygiene. As many as 24% of Brits have shared work passwords with a partner or family member during the pandemic – increasing the risk of passwords falling into the wrong hands and opening up the virtual doors to sensitive business information. This comes at a time when cyber criminals are out in full force – with almost half of Brits (48%) having been inundated by phishing attacks over the past six months.

“What we are looking at today could be the first signs of a ‘cybersecurity pandemic’. Businesses will do well to step up their cyber security defences and training for staff to stem the growing sophistication of cyber-attacks targeting their workers. We might fight cybercriminals with innovative, predictive AI-enabled identity security technology to protect the workforce access and reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and data leaks. If we aren’t careful, 2021 could see us face a security crisis in the digital world.”