Print bosses have been warned to be on their guard after a prominent industry business was hit by a cyber attack.
It is believed that cyber criminals may be specifically targeting firms that provide support services to financial institutions.
Operations at MBA Group, which has sites in London and Warrington, have been affected after the business was subjected to an attack.
In a statement, sales director Kevin Stewart said the firm hoped to resolve the situation by the end of this week. Phone lines to both sites are currently out of action.
Stewart said: “We were recently impacted by a cyber attack, which caused some operational disruption to our systems and a small proportion of our client work.
“The incident itself was quickly contained and we are working with external IT experts. Our focus remains restoring all client services by end of play this week,” he explained.
“We’re grateful for the support of our staff, suppliers and clients who have worked collaboratively throughout the response to the incident.”
MBA is a Top 100 printing group, with sales of £47.4m in its most recent financial year.
The firm provides a range of multichannel communication services including hybrid mail and e-billing.
Its clients are primarily in the financial, utilities, insurance and marketing sectors. The firm holds a raft of related security accreditations including ISO 22301, ISO 27001 and CPAS 55, and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Printweek understands the attack took place around a week ago.
An industry source commented: “This sort of thing is our worst nightmare. Our advisers say they [cyber attackers] are targeting financial service support businesses as it is harder to hit the banks directly.”
A spokesperson at the government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) told Printweek: “Taking a proactive approach to raising cyber security standards is vital for all businesses in supply chains to help boost overall resilience and keep operations running.
“By putting appropriate measures in place, organisations not only protect themselves from cyber attacks but also other businesses that they work with or rely on.”
The NCSC has published guidance to help large organisations ensure high standards of supply chain security, while SME businesses can find top tips on how to defend themselves against online attacks in its Small Business Guide.
Last week Lindy Cameron, the newly-appointed CEO of the NCSC, gave a speech where she said that better cyber security was critical to the nation’s future prosperity, and described digital literacy as “as non-negotiable in boardrooms as financial literacy”.
“Cyber security is still not taken as seriously as it should be, and simply is not embedded in UK boardrooms,” she warned.
“The pace of change is no excuse – in boardrooms, digital literacy is as non-negotiable as financial or legal literacy. Our CEOs should be as close to their CISO as their finance director and general counsel.
“And we want to help them to develop this knowledge, as we’re all too aware that cyber skills are not yet fundamental to our education – even though these are life skills like wiring a plug or changing a tyre as well as skills for the future digital economy.”
The number of people working from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic has also raised concerns over the potential for IT security issues as a result of remote working.
A new survey from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) also revealed that nearly 40% of businesses were subjected to a cyber attack or breach in the last year.