Knowledge is Power

Umbrella Firms Under Attack!

Some umbrella contractors are suffering delayed pay due to cyber attacks which have potentially put sensitive data at risk. Read on to find out more about how the industry is responding to the increased threat…

Several leading UK umbrella companies have now confirmed that they have been investigating a potential data breach which has arisen due to a suspected ransomware attack.

Believed to have impacted tens of thousands of contractors, the data breach resulted in many systems being shut down for several days as a security measure. This has meant that thousands of contractors have suffered a delay in their payday cycles, with some claiming to have been left out of pocket.

What kind of cyber attack?

There are several ways that business can be targeted by cyber attacks. The recent attacks on umbrella companies are thought to be ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware that spreads across networks and targets databases, it then holds sensitive information at ransom. The companies in question haven’t yet confirmed that the attacks were ransomware attacks, although several cybersecurity experts have suggested that they likely were.

The spate of attacks began in late 2021 and have continued into early 2022.

How has this happened?

Cyber attacks prey on unsecured software and networks, and the pandemic has led to an increase in people working from home through home networks which aren’t designed to cope with corporate level cyber invasions. This could be one potential reason for the attacks.

But no network can ever be entirely safe from cyber attacks, with some of the world’s biggest names falling victim to cyber crime over the years, including companies in healthcare, social media, computing, and hospitality.

These attacks have reiterated the needs for all companies in all sectors to guard against cybercrime by doubling down on security and ensuring that all networks and data are protected.  

Industry criticism

These targeted cyber attacks have led to further criticism of the umbrella industry, whose lack of regulation is often the source of controversy. Until the industry is regulated, it leaves the door wide open for dishonest umbrella providers to take advantage of contractors by cutting corners which puts them at risk.

The UK government is currently requesting a call for evidence from people working with umbrella companies, to provide a starting point for potential future legislation.

Working with a reputable umbrella company will help protect you and your data. We at Ship Shape take our responsibility to security very seriously and are constantly looking for ways that we can stay up to date with the latest threats and keep your data secure.

If you would like more information about working with Ship Shape, get in touch with us today!
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