Which sectors are most vulnerable to cyber attacks?

New research suggests four in five UK SMEs have suffered a data breach or cyber attack, with employers in the healthcare and IT & Telecoms sectors most likely to suffer two breaches.

Technology decision makers at UK SMEs are prioritising cyber security to ensure business continuity and growth, according to research.

Cyber security features heavily in a report published by OGL Computer, with respondents revealing attack frequency, cyber strategy status and employee training to combat hackers.

The vast majority of UK SMEs (81%) confirmed that they had suffered a data breach or cyber attack, with 37% admitting they had suffered multiple breaches.

Industry verticals had a significant bearing here, with the HR & recruitment, healthcare, IT & telecoms and legal industries topping the list of those suffering multiple attacks.

Reasons to attack key industries

HR & Recruitment Payroll fraud, recruitment scams, corporate espionage – cyber attackers have found numerous routes into organisations via HR. Any identifiable information is valuable to criminals, and payroll and other HR systems are a treasure trove of names, addresses and bank details. If this is compromised, not only can it affect individual employees, it also gives attackers more ammunition with which to increase the likelihood of a successful attack on other parts of the business.

Additionally, recruitment agencies are prime targets for malware. If hit by a data breach, employment agreements and sensitive documents such as passport scans and visa details are all left exposed.