Cyber-crime cost businesses in the West Midlands more than £400K in the last 15 months

This week the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre reported that from 1st January 2020 – 1st April 2021, there were 232 reports of cyber dependent crime on organisations and this totalled in losses of £404.1K.

These cyber dependent crimes included Hacking – social media and email, Computer virus/malware/software, Hacking – server, Hacking -extortion, and denial of service attacks.

Between 1st January and 31st March 2021, 27 organisations reported being the victim of cyber-dependent offences in the West Midlands region.

With cybercrime continuing to be massively under-reported across the region, it’s likely that the real figure is much higher and many of the ones that were reported did not include details of financial losses and did not account for the potential lost business, IT resourcing to deal with incidents and the costs of recovery.

The organisational sector types that were the victims of offences were:

  • Education (19%)
  • Construction (11%)
  • Manufacture (7%)
  • Retail (7%)
  • Financial (7%)
  • Critical Infrastructure (7%)
  • Legal (4%)
  • Media (4%)
  • Community (4%)
  • Insurance (4
  • IT (4%)
  • Charity (4%)
  • Food (4%)
  • Healthcare (4%)
  • Unknown (11%)

The cyber-dependent offence types reported by victims between 1st Jan –31st March were:

  • Hacking (41%)
  • Ransomware (22%)
  • DDoS (22%)
  • Zero-day Exploit (11%)
  • Unknown (4%)

Ransomware offences reported in this period featured the use a methodology called double extortion. This is where the hackers threaten the publication of the stolen data should the victim not pay the ransom fee.

Phishing is also on the rise, with cyber criminals actively targeting business’s cloud services due to how critical they have been throughout the coronavirus pandemic with moves to agile working.

Many of the Phishing offences reported across the region have involved criminals gaining unauthorised access to accounts, including email accounts to harvest confidential information to then be shared online for a fee.

So, how can the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands help businesses from the threat of cyber-crime? The West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (WMCRC) is part of a network of centres being established across the country to provide businesses and organisations, with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to help improve cyber resilience.

The WMCRC offers a range a membership options depending on what level of support businesses in West Midlands, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, and Warwickshire need.

Businesses in the West Midlands can sign up for a free Core Membership online and receive a welcome pack full of practical resources and tools that will help identify risks and vulnerabilities and the steps that can be taken to increase levels of protection. Through membership, businesses will also get regular updates on new threats, designed to help them stay safer.

If you are an SME, microbusiness or sole trader in the West Midlands, click here to understand the various membership options.

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