EMPLOYEES are the biggest risk to letting cyber attacks breach a company's security, a leading IT firm in Swindon has warned.

Graham Ford, operations director at Excalibur Communications, which provides IT services to businesses across the region, told the Adver they were seeing phishing scams on a daily basis.

"It's actually user education that most businesses are missing," he told the Adver.

"Going back to basics and making users aware that they are the biggest security risk to any business.

"I don't think businesses are educating their users at all to prevent that.

"Simple things like weak passwords and not being aware of what a phishing email is and what it looks like. That's where 90 per cent of all security breaches happen.

"They are forever increasing. People like Microsoft are providing updates and protection on a daily basis, but they just simply can't keep up."

Phishing emails are a scam where cyber criminals send an email pretending to be legitimate which is used to get sensitive data such as bank details.

The insurer Hiscox released its third Cyber Readiness Report this week which found that the number of firms surveyed reporting cyber attacks jumped from 45 per cent to 61 per cent in a single year.

Gareth Warton, CEO of Hiscox, reiterated the remarks.

He said: "Both the cost and frequency of attacks have increased markedly compared with a year ago, and where hackers formerly focused mainly on larger companies, small-and-medium-sized firms are now equally vulnerable

"The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ springs to mind, and being aware of these threats is half the battle. From our experience as a cyber insurer, business email accounts being compromised is currently the main cause of cyber claims, followed by ransomware."

Similar security fears this week have emerged over the government considering the 5G infrastructure supply being carried out by the Chinese firm Huawei.

Excalibur has been building its own fibre optic network under Swindon with its partner CityFibre and will launch the superfast gigabit internet to businesses on May 16.