Cyber attacks are on the rise: are you protecting your business?

National | Surveys | Technology

We live in an increasingly digital world, yet according to research published by Kaspersky Lab, many businesses are unprepared for cyber attacks.

Part of the challenge of cyber security comes from the increasing complexity of IT business infrastructure and the continuously evolving threat landscape.

Kaspersky Lab found that 54% of European businesses have suffered from at least one cyber attack in the last two years which had a discernible impact on business activities. The most common outcomes were service disruption (31%), data integrity issues (18%), and data loss (15%). Of each business’s most recent attacks, 20% left no clue to the attacker’s identity.

UK businesses face the highest risk of attack, alongside Spain, with 64% of respondents reporting a cyber attack in the last two years. Larger businesses are also more likely to be targeted, with 64% of enterprises reporting attacks compared to 45% of small and medium-sized businesses.

As mirrored in high-profile political attacks, cyber attacks on businesses are on the rise. 21% of respondents said that the number of attacks on their business increased in the last year, while 42% reported the figure as roughly the same.

When attacks do occur, they sometimes go undiscovered for hours, days, weeks, or longer. Swift detection speed is vital to minimise the impact of cyber attacks: research has shown immediate response can mean a £456,ooo cost of recovery, while enterprises which take over a week to react can face costs of up to £1.2m.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab UK, said: “It is alarming that more than half of businesses across Europe have suffered cyber attacks recently, which managed to disrupt their operations or cause other kinds of damage. The fact that the odds of a business falling victim have increased dramatically should act as a stark warning for business owners and ITDMs to strengthen their defences.

“The results of the survey also confirm another trend that we, from the cybersecurity industry, have been pointing out for a while – that attackers sneak throughout the organisation and sometimes leave few or no traces, making the challenge for investigators increasingly difficult, as well as underlining the importance of cooperation among cybersecurity professionals.”

The survey was conducted for Kaspersky Lab by Arlington Research. 300 interviews were completed in each country, totalling 1,800 interviews overall.

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