Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise in the UK, affecting a significant number of businesses and charities.


Three-quarters of UK businesses and 79% of charities have experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past 12 months [2]. Medium and large enterprises [1], as well as high-income charities, are particularly vulnerable. The government warns that cyber resilience improvements are stagnating due to economic challenges and ongoing threats from state-backed actors, with ransomware being a major concern [3]. Charities have a less formalized approach to cybersecurity compared to businesses [2], with differences in staff access to systems and VPN usage [2]. Only 13% of UK organizations are resilient to cyber attacks [3], highlighting the country’s vulnerability [3]. The rise of generative AI poses a potential cybersecurity issue [3], as it could be used by attackers to create malicious code [3]. Organizations are urged to enhance their security protections [1], including incident response and recovery plans [1], employee security awareness [1], and basic skills [1]. Larger businesses are more likely to have risk management documentation [1], staff training [1], and adhere to cybersecurity accreditations and standards [1]. Despite challenges [1], there have been improvements in areas such as cyber insurance uptake [1]. Email threats are the top incident type [2], with an increase in attempted hacks of websites [2], social media [2], and user accounts observed in 2023 [2]. The UK is the second most-attacked country in Europe in terms of cyber threats [3], behind Ukraine [3].


The increasing frequency of cybersecurity incidents in the UK highlights the need for organizations to ramp up their security measures. By implementing incident response and recovery plans, enhancing employee security awareness [1], and adopting basic cybersecurity skills, businesses and charities can better protect themselves from cyber threats. It is crucial for organizations to stay vigilant and proactive in the face of evolving cyber risks to safeguard their data and operations in the future.