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Increase in cyber attacks on businesses

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

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The proportion of UK firms reporting a cyber-attack has jumped, despite most businesses admitting they are under-prepared for breaches, according to research from Hiscox.

The insurer found 55% had faced an attack in 2019, up from 40% last year.

"Companies are taking the problem seriously, but I don't think they are taking it seriously enough," Gareth Wharton, head of Cyber at Hiscox, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The number of attacks are going up because attackers are able to find easier ways to attack."

He said the biggest problem used to be with ransomware, but was now business email compromise.

That is where a member of staff at a firm uses the same password for an out-of-work email address or website login, as they do for their work email.

Once hackers obtain the password, they then send email from the work address asking for business clients to send future payments to their bank account rather than to the firm's genuine bank account.