eSentire White Logo

News releases | Apr 30, 2019

eSentire Report: Volume of U.K. Cyber Attacks Increased by Over 140% in 2018

U.K. Employees are Better at Preventing Phishing and Malware Incidents Than Their Global Counterparts

LONDON – April 30, 2019 – eSentire, Inc., the global leader in Managed Detection and Response (MDR), today announced the release of its U.K. Threat Intelligence Spotlight, an inaugural report that details the unique threat landscape that small and medium enterprises must contend with in the United Kingdom (U.K.).

Over the last two years, eSentire’s European business has grown by over 90%, with the bulk of its expansion coming from customers within the U.K. This broadened customer footprint has provided eSentire’s Security Operations Centers (SOCs) in Cork, Ireland and Waterloo Region, Canada with a sample size of data that allows for an in-depth examination of the threats facing U.K. businesses and a benchmarking of how they compare to similar companies around the world.

The critical takeaway from eSentire’s U.K. Threat Intelligence Spotlight is that the global growth in botnet activity drove a 140% year-over-year increase in the number of cybersecurity incidents experienced by U.K. businesses. This increase in attack traffic also caused nearly 40% of small and medium enterprises in the U.K to experience at least one cybersecurity incident.

Alex Jinivizian, Vice President, Strategy and International Marketing, eSentire said: “Publishing eSentire’s anonymised U.K. customer data allows security practitioners, IT decision makers and senior executives who are tasked with protecting their businesses to be better informed about the cybersecurity decisions they are making. We hope that this data will not only be a benefit to those businesses based solely in the U.K. but also be of benefit to international businesses that have customers, employees and offices in the region as well.”

Other significant findings from eSentire’s U.K. Threat Intelligence Spotlight include:

  • U.K. employees are better at preventing phishing and malware attacks than their global counterparts:
    • In the last 12 months, only 13% of U.K. businesses experienced some form of successful malware execution, compared to the global average of 17%.
    • Over the same time period, U.K businesses experienced 20% fewer phishing incidents.
    • Because most malware and phishing incidents are initiated accidently by employees, these lower rates indicate that the U.K workforce in eSentire’s customer base may be better at adhering to email and web browsing best practices than employees in other countries.
  • Dropbox-themed phishing lures prove popular:
    • Phishing campaigns simulating the look and feel of Dropbox’s email and website were the most successful type of phishing lure in the U.K.
  • For businesses that store sensitive data in cloud storage, the success rate of the Dropbox campaign should be an eye-opening observation, as one compromised cloud storage account could give threat actors access to a company’s entire cache of sensitive files.
  • Marketing and manufacturing are the most impacted industries:
    • Marketing agencies are prime targets for cyberattacks, as they often will be contracted to work on campaigns well in advance of the release of a new product. The information secured from a successful attack could be sold to competitors or used to conduct insider trading.
    • The fact that, at a rate level, marketing and manufacturing industries actually experience more successful cyber-attacks underscores the need for all industries in the U.K. to take a harder look at their cybersecurity posture, even when regulations are not forcing them to do so.
  • U.K. companies had a high percentage of exploit attacks compared to the global average:
  • 27% of U.K. businesses experienced at least attempted exploit attacks between February 2018 and February 2019.
  • This is the only occasion where the U.K. observed incident rate is ahead of the global average of eSentire’s customer base. This should serve notice to U.K. businesses to do a thorough examination of any exploitable services sitting on internal networks that are accessible from the internet.

The full U.K. Threat Intelligence Spotlight can be downloaded from:

About eSentire:

eSentire, Inc., the global leader in Managed Detection and Response (MDR), keeps organizations safe from constantly evolving cyber attacks that technology alone cannot prevent. Its 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC), staffed by elite security analysts, hunts, investigates, and responds in real-time to known and unknown threats before they become business disrupting events. Protecting more than $5.7 trillion AUM in the financial sector alone, eSentire absorbs the complexity of cybersecurity, delivering enterprise-grade protection and the ability to comply with growing regulatory requirements. For more information, visit and follow @eSentire.