Cybersecurity is a phrase cropping up more frequently than ever. In fact, it has become one of the biggest threats to companies of all sizes in recent years, with 38% of micro to small and 61% of medium to large businesses experiencing attacks in the last 12 months.
The threat of cyberattacks are also heightened due to the fact that not all businesses have a strong enough training programme in place for staff to spot when there could be a cyberattack attempt.
But, while studies report cyberattack hot spots in Wales, the North West, and London, it begs the question; how cybersecure is the South West?
The Most Cybersecure Locations in the South West
Devon, Gloucestershire, and Cornwall all saw over an estimated 20,000 cyberattacks, putting them as the most dangerous places to run a business from a cybersecurity point of view.
Although at the other end of the list was the Isles of Scilly – a location that saw an estimated 163 cyberattacks mostly due to the isle only being home to micro to small businesses.
Most Cybersecure Locations by Cyberattacks:
- Isles of Scilly – 163
- Torbay – 3,548
- Plymouth – 5,636
- Swindon – 6,382
- Bath and North East Somerset – 7,109
Least Cybersecure Locations by Cyberattacks:
- Devon – 32,067
- Gloucestershire – 24,473
- Cornwall – 21,171
- Somerset – 20,722
- Wiltshire – 18,063
According to Nomis (a data resource run by the Office for National Statistics), there are 505,850 micro to small businesses in the South West. With a total of 517k businesses in the South West, micro to small businesses (organisations with up to 49 employees) make up a huge 97.7% of organisations.
However, there are locations where being a micro/small business may not be so beneficial. Here are the areas where businesses of less than 50 employees could experience a higher percentage of cyberattacks than a medium to large business:
- North Somerset
While there are significantly less medium to large businesses in the South West, it’s not to say that they’re not falling victim to cybercriminals.
It was found that Bristol was a hotspot for cyberattacks on medium to large businesses, followed by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. While micro to small organisations may not have the defences in place to fight cyberattacks, medium to large businesses have more employees which can mean more cracks in their human firewall.
The locations where businesses with 50+ employees see more cyberattacks:
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
How to Stay Cybersecure
Most, if not all, workplaces depend hugely on internet access and being online. However; while the majority of the internet is safe, there are standard practices that can be the difference between a swerved cyberattack and a successful one.
Here are a few useful day-to-day tips to bear in mind:
- Turn on two factor authentication (2FA)
- Be vocal about suspicious emails to your IT support team or management
- Keep software up to date
- Always think twice before clicking
Research published by the UK government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport showed that 38% of micro and small businesses had ‘identified a cyberattack’ over the last 12 months in 2022, and that 61% of medium to large businesses had also identified a cyberattack. Using this data, Excalibur referenced Nomis, a data source provided by Office for National Statistics (ONS), to find the amount of businesses in each area of the South West, methodically breaking the region down by counties. To discover the amount of cyberattacks in each county, Excalibur calculated 38% of the total number of micro and small businesses, and 61% of medium to large business in the South West. As a result, all figures are an estimate based on government provided data and information.