More than 42 million people in the UK have had their financial data compromised

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International law firm RPC found that the rate of ransomware attacks was increasing, putting more sensitive information at risk.

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As the number of cyberattacks increases from different angles, look no further than the UK to find out how compromised systems can have an economic impact. According to a statement from international law firm RPC, financial information belonging to around 42.2 million people in the UK has been leaked due to an increasing number of ransomware attacks.

“The surprisingly high number of people whose financial data has been impacted over the past year shows just how rampant cyberattacks have become,” said RPC partner Richard Breavington. “Hackers are continually refining their methods, employing ever more complex techniques to extort money in any way possible. Some companies, fearing the potential reputational costs, not to mention other consequences, decide they will take the latter approach of paying the ransom demands. As a result, these attacks have become very lucrative for cybercriminals. »

The rise of cyberattacks in the UK

The increasing rate of cyberattacks is staggering, especially in the UK. In 2019-20, 2.2 million people’s data was compromised compared to 42.2 million in 2021-2022, a staggering increase of more than 1,700% in just three years. The increase in data as a whole has been singled out as one of the potential reasons for this leap in jeopardizing citizens’ sensitive information. Once data is compromised by malware or ransomware, the cybercriminal network will then sell data on a marketplace and potentially hold financial institutions for ransom.

Breavington explains in the statement that “criminal gangs are doing this, because their blackmail threats over encryption alone become less effective as companies improve their systems’ backups. But hackers have honed their tactics and added this additional form of blackmail.

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As a number of organizations have found it easier to simply pay the ransom to attackers, this has led many hacking groups to increase the number of attacks executed in a short period of time. As illustrated earlier this month, sometimes ransomware and cyber threat groups can penetrate a company’s system and examine its inner workings for varying lengths of time before launching an attack.

“Before launching an attack, hackers are increasingly performing reconnaissance to determine what protections are in place, as well as what data the company holds,” Breavington said. “Companies should not make their job easier by reporting this information.”

The growing number of cyberattacks has made many consumers less confident in the ability of companies to protect their financial information. For this reason, it is important that many organizations realize that it is their responsibility to increase layers of security, to have a 24/7 approach to cybersecurity and online threats, and to constantly self-audit their processes to ensure they are doing their best. to regain that lost trust.

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