Targeted attacks against businesses are on the rise

cyber security

In the last year 94 percent of organizations have encountered at least one cyber security incident, with 12 percent indicating that they’d been on the receiving end of a targeted attack.

These are among the findings of a survey of worldwide IT professionals by security company Kaspersky Lab and research specialist B2B International. Damages from one successful targeted attack could cost a company as much as $2.54 million for enterprises and $84,000 for small businesses.

Whilst the threat of targeted attacks affects businesses of all sizes, the survey finds that large companies in particular see them as a major threat. 38 percent of companies with 1,500 to 5,000 employees, and 39 percent of companies with more than 50,000 employees named targeted attacks as their number one concern.

Smaller businesses are slightly less concerned, with 34 percent naming targeted attacks as a key priority. A major worry for all businesses is losing sensitive data with more than a third saying that protection of confidential data against targeted attacks is a key problem for IT management teams.

Chris Doggett, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab North America says, "The survey results clearly indicate that many businesses now recognize that the threat of a targeted attack is very real and could be very harmful for their organization. However, we are seeing that the number of companies that are actually taking that knowledge and turning it into an action to protect their organization from such attacks is still alarmingly low. With major breaches being reported regularly now, it is critical for businesses of all sizes to make protection of their IT infrastructure their top priority, especially given the damages that arise from each successful targeted attack".

Other findings from the report are that spam is now seen as the number one external threat, named by 64 percent of respondents. Viruses and other malware were named by 61 percent. Phishing attacks trail some way behind on 38 percent followed by network intrusions on 25 percent. Whilst DDoS attacks rate only 18 percent on the overall threat scale they're placed much higher by IT and telecom companies.

Where internal risks are concerned, flaws or vulnerabilities in software are rated highest at 36 percent, followed by accidental leaks by staff (29 percent) and loss or theft of mobile devices (26 percent). Again these figures vary by industry with 42 percent of telecom companies being worried about accidental leaks.

There's much more information in the full report which is available on the Kaspersky Lab website.

Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

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