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UK AI Minister warns of rising cyber threats to large businesses

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Government data reveals that three quarters of medium and large sized businesses were hit by a cyber incident in the past year, as attacks against large businesses are on the rise.

The minister for artificial intelligence (AI), Viscount Camrose, has urged British businesses to bolster their cyber-attack defences as nearly 80 per cent of high-income charities faced cyber security breaches in the same period.

Camrose emphasised the need to strengthen cyber resilience across the board to safeguard critical assets, customers, and the broader economy.

Rising threats are often due to bad actors increasingly using AI to steal sensitive information and holding companies to ransom.

The government has introduced the Cyber Governance Code of Practise to help business leaders build stronger cyber protections and prepare response and recovery plans following cyber-attacks.

Cyber attacks on businesses have surged for the fourth year according to insurance firm Hiscox, and the financial ramifications are significant with a total cost for organisations amounting to £7,187.

Achi Lewis, Area VP EMEA for Absolute Software, said: “Malicious cyber attacks don’t discriminate, everyone can be a target from large enterprises to charities. Cyber threats are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, fuelled by innovations such as AI, and organisations should be on full alert for when these attacks happen, not if.

“To protect against these threats, cyber resilience should be a top priority for all organisations, especially large businesses holding vast amounts of sensitive data across a wide network of endpoints. With many enterprises operating with a work-from-anywhere model, visibility over an entire network and its devices is vital for security teams.

“Through secure access technology, devices and applications can establish trust with a network, alerting centralised IT teams when suspicious behaviour occurs and providing the option to freeze, or shut down, potentially compromised devices. This can prevent malicious actors from moving laterally across a network and infiltrating large amounts of sensitive data.”