Most organizations face attacks from hackers trying to disrupt operations or holding networks to ransom. The attacks through phishing and fraudulent emails aren’t uncommon either. The favorite choice of most hackers is large organizations or ones who handle sensitive data. Attacks are mounted at regular intervals on these organizations through a variety of ways. Many organizations have reported and thwarted off attacks after identifying them. That is because these firms are flush with funds or have the necessary resources to implement cybersecurity programs and protocols that alert security and tech teams about possible breaches.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a survey to understand business awareness and attitudes toward data protection and security. In its report titled- Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020, the DCMS has identified phishing as the top choice for hackers trying to disrupt functions. The report took detection of successful and unsuccessful cyberattacks as the basis for its findings.

According to the report, 86 % businesses have claimed to identify and intercept phishing mails. The figure is a sharp spike to the 2017 statistic when only 72% organizations reported phishing attacks.

The report also says that many organizations have identified that they are being included in the hackers’ mailers as it gives it a sense of legitimacy. If not impersonating, hackers use fake or dummy websites to misguide the public in their mailers. The case is more seen in the case of charities as most donations are done online. There has been a 39% increase in hackers masquerading as charities to steal donors’ personal and financial details.

A direct attack on the security systems have been reported by 1 in 10 companies, where hackers tried to gain access to financial records or to the source of finances.

Of the organizations surveyed, nearly 8% have reported ransomware attacks and 16% have reported malware attacks. Bringing in some cheer, the report said that incidences of malware and ransomware attacks have halved since 2017. The report said that the hackers have increased the ransom after bringing down entire networks.

Another disturbing trend brought to notice by the report is the unauthorized use of computers, servers, etc. by staffers and others. The number of attacks has risen sharply this year as quite a few organizations have not reported the attacks to authorities. In some cases, hackers have launched quiet attacks which haven’t alerted their victims hence have not been reported.

“There are likely to be hidden attacks, and others that go unidentified, so the findings reported here may underestimate the full extent of the problem,” the report said.