Manchester United may have been concentrating on improving the wrong defence this season, after they were hit by a sophisticated cyber-attack over the weekend.

Manchester United spent a record-breaking £80 million on defender Harry Maguire in 2019, and a further £15 million on Brazilian defender Alex Telles in September, but have they been concentrating on improving the wrong defence?

A statement from the club said that United’s media channels, app and website were unaffected by the attack and that so far, no fan or customer data was affected.

“We are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers. All critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational.”

The club’s statement added that their cyber defences had “identified” the attack and were able to shut down affected systems to “contain the damage and protect data”. They have also said that they had “extensive protocols and procedures” in place for such incidents and that they have “rehearsed the risks”.

So far it would appear that Manchester United have done everything by the book when responding to the cyber-attack and they have reacted quickly and efficiently to protect customer and employee data. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that they have been contacted and the club has said they are working with experts to investigate the attack further.

If, after the investigation, no personal data was stolen during the attack, then you could argue the club’s cyber defence systems and procedures worked well. However, you could also argue that improvements need to be made to ensure they are protected from any future attacks.

Cyber threats increase in both complexity and number daily and it isn’t just the big names that get caught out. Cyber-crime collectively costs UK SMEs an estimated £4.5Bn a year, with the average cost of an individual attack put at £1,300. Is your business sufficiently protected from sophisticated cyber-attacks? Do you have a breach detection strategy and procedures to follow in the instance of a successful attack? If not, or if you are worried about your exposure to crime, contact Cyber Wise today to find out how we can help protect and support your business.