Ransomware fueled record year for UK cyber response

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Nov 17, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

The U.K. National Cyber Security Centre fought a record number of digital intrusions in the past year, the agency reported, driven by a surge in ransomware and hackers targeting the health care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over a 12-month period ending in September, the agency responded to 777 incidents, a more than 7% increase, the center said in its Nov. 17 annual report.

Ransomware kept the center busy, with officials handling the same number of incidents in the first four months of 2021 that it did in all of 2020, itself triple the number of incidents in 2019. That made ransomware the “most significant cyber threat facing the U.K. this year,” the report states. Still, businesses aren’t taking it seriously enough, National Cyber Security Centre CEO Lindy Cameron wrote.

“In my view it is now the most immediate cyber security threat to U.K. businesses and one that I think should be higher on the boardroom agenda,” she said.

The agency’s exhortations mirror the efforts of U.S. government officials who have begun applying regulatory and legislative pressure on industry to take action on ransomware, fueled by high-profile attacks over the

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