UK and Ireland experience highest web-attack rate in the world

Web-application attacks accounted for 90 per cent of all cyber-attacks in Britain and Ireland, according to new research.

The spike in application-specific and web-application attacks, linked to organisations offering more virtual and remote access via client portals, was 23 per cent higher than the global average of 67 per cent, the latest Global Threat Intelligence Report from NTT has found.

The surge represents the highest rate of combined web attacks of any country analysed in the study.

Manufacturing bore the brunt of these attacks, with 93 per cent of all hostile activity targeted at the industry being web-application or application specific attacks.

Manufacturing, healthcare, and finance experience huge cyber-attack surge

The global manufacturing, healthcare, and finance sectors saw a significant increase in cyber-attacks in 2020.

The manufacturing industry was hit hardest with a 300 per cent rise in global attacks.

Around the world, healthcare saw a 200 per cent increase in cyber-attacks. While finance experienced a 53 per cent surge in the number of incidents.

The study also found that these three industries accounted for 62 per cent of all cyber-attacks in 2020, up 11 per cent from the previous year.

Across the UK and Ireland, manufacturing was also the most targeted industry, accounting for 80 per cent of all incidents, well above the global average of 22 per cent. The finance sector saw attacks increase by 18 per cent.

Healthcare was the most attacked industry in the EMEA region – the combined attacks from web-application and application-specific attacks targeting healthcare in EMEA accounted for 98 per cent of all hostile activity in this sector – significantly higher than the global average of 67 per cent.

“Last year we predicted a surge in targeted, opportunistic attacks and unfortunately, this has proven all-too-true,” said Kazu Yozawa, chief executive of NTT Security division. “While these industries have done their best to maintain essential services throughout disruptive times, the fall in security standards when companies need them most is alarming.

Yozawa added: “As services continue to move online and become increasingly digital to account for the new normal, organisations must be extra vigilant in upholding and maintaining best practices in their security.”

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