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How Bad is the Cyber Threat in Yorkshire?

Jun 12, 2024


In recent years, Yorkshire has emerged as one of the United Kingdom’s economic powerhouses, with thriving businesses across various sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and digital services, IT. However, with rapid digital transformation comes the lurking shadow of cyber threats. In this blog Rabb-IT explores the current state of cybersecurity in Yorkshire and its biggest city of Leeds and the surrounding areas, the most prevalent cyber threats facing the region, and practical steps businesses can take to protect themselves.

The State of Cyber Threats in Yorkshire

Cybersecurity has become a significant concern for businesses in Yorkshire due to a rising number of attacks affecting local companies, public institutions, and individuals alike. Here’s a closer look at the cyber threat landscape:

Ransomware Attacks

Yorkshire has experienced a notable increase in ransomware attacks targeting businesses, schools, and local government entities. In these attacks, hackers encrypt crucial data and demand a ransom to restore access. A prominent example involved the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, which faced a major ransomware attack that cost over £10 million to rectify.

Phishing and Social Engineering

Local businesses are reporting higher instances of phishing attacks, where cybercriminals trick individuals into divulging sensitive information through deceptive emails or messages. According to the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit, phishing remains one of the most prevalent cyber threats in the region.

Data Breaches

Data breaches can severely damage an organisation’s reputation and finances. The healthcare sector in Yorkshire, particularly, has been targeted, with attacks exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated systems and poor cybersecurity practices.

Supply Chain Attacks

With many Yorkshire-based businesses relying on third-party suppliers and partners, supply chain attacks have become increasingly common. Attackers often compromise a smaller vendor’s system to infiltrate larger organisations that rely on their services.

IoT Vulnerabilities

The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in Yorkshire’s manufacturing sector has introduced new vulnerabilities, allowing hackers to gain unauthorised access to sensitive information or disrupt critical operations.

Regional Impact

The ramifications of these attacks can be far-reaching and impact Yorkshire’s businesses in multiple ways:

Financial Losses: Ransomware attacks and data breaches can lead to hefty fines, ransom payments, and remediation costs.

Reputational Damage: A cybersecurity incident can significantly tarnish a business’s reputation, leading to lost customers and partners.

Operational Disruption: Cyberattacks can cause massive operational downtime, disrupting business continuity.

Legal Consequences: Non-compliance with GDPR and other data protection laws due to a cyber incident can result in legal actions and penalties.

Key Vulnerabilities and Challenges

Yorkshire businesses face several challenges that make them vulnerable to cyber threats:

Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness

Many small businesses lack the resources or knowledge to implement robust cybersecurity measures, leaving them exposed to attacks.

Legacy Systems

Outdated software and hardware still in use by some organisations are more susceptible to cyber threats due to unpatched vulnerabilities.

Insufficient Cyber Hygiene

Poor password practices, irregular software updates, and a lack of regular cybersecurity training contribute to an insecure environment.

Supply Chain Complexity

Businesses relying on multiple suppliers and partners often struggle to assess and mitigate cybersecurity risks in their supply chains.

Improving Cybersecurity in Yorkshire

To address these challenges, businesses across Yorkshire need to prioritise cybersecurity. Here are some practical steps to strengthen their defences:

Implement Cyber Essentials

The Cyber Essentials certification provides a solid foundation for cybersecurity. It ensures businesses have the basic measures in place to prevent common threats.

Regular Security Audits

Conduct regular cybersecurity audits to identify and rectify vulnerabilities in IT systems.

Employee Training and Awareness

Educate employees about phishing attacks and other social engineering tactics through regular training sessions.

Incident Response Planning

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines steps to take during a cyber-attack, minimising damage and downtime.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Enforce MFA to add an extra layer of security for user accounts, especially those with privileged access.

Backup Strategy

Implement a robust backup strategy, ensuring that critical data is backed up regularly and securely.

Supply Chain Security

Assess the cybersecurity posture of all third-party suppliers and partners and incorporate security requirements in contracts.


Yorkshire faces a growing cyber threat landscape that demands urgent attention from businesses and individuals alike. By understanding the challenges and adopting proactive cybersecurity measures, businesses can protect their digital assets, ensure compliance, and safeguard their reputation. Investing in cybersecurity today will pay dividends in securing Yorkshire’s digital future. If you would like any help or advice on how to keep your business safe from cyber-attacks, please call us at Rabb-IT IT Support & Solutions in Leeds.

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