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UK number one target for cyber attacks in Europe

The UK spends more on cyber defence than any other European state, and rightly so. New statistics have emerged showing that the UK suffered significantly more cyber attacks over the first half of 2014 than any other state across Europe, the Middle Eastern or Africa (EMEA).

A report from US company FireEye said that the UK sustained 17% of all advanced persistent attacks (APT) across the EMEA region.

A chart showing Monthly Advanced Persistent Threat activity

Monthly Advanced Persistent Threat activity – source FireEye

Ashar Aziz, founder and chief strategy officer at FireEye said: “These are covert, damaging cyber attacks mainly against the financial, energy and telecommunications sectors and the government.

“Over the past 12 months these cyber attacks have doubled – these are sophisticated nation state affiliate operations.”

According to the Financial Times, APT cyber attacks typically require a “high degree” of human control and are usually used as a strategic part of criminal activity or spying.

Following the UK, Germany received the next highest number of cyber attacks, totalling 12%, while Saudi Arabia sustained 10% of the cyber attacks, according to FireEye’s report.

Cyber attacks are rated by the UK National Security Council as a “tier one” risk to UK security; the same level as terrorism and international conflict.

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