March 19, 2019

Over half of European companies have experienced a cyberattack in the last two years

By Ellen Daniel

With the complexity of organisations’ IT infrastructure, and increasing sophistication of cyber threats, it comes as no surprise that adequately protecting businesses from cyberattacks is a difficult task for IT decision-makers.

In fact, 54% of European businesses have faced at least one cyber threat serious enough to disrupt their activities in the last two years. The most common outcomes of the attacks were: service disruption at 31%, data integrity issues at 18% and data loss at 15%.

This is according to Kaspersky Lab’s latest survey, which found that despite the global increase in cybersecurity spending, many companies are still struggling to keep up with the volume of threats.

Over one in five respondents say that the number of cyberattacks their business had experienced had increased within the past 12 months, while for 42% it roughly stayed the same. Furthermore, the complexity of cyberattacks is increasing too, and worryingly, 20% of IT decision-makers said that they were unsure of the identity of the attackers in most cybersecurity incidents, leaving businesses in the dark as to the origin of the threats.

The research also shed light on the countries most at risk from cyberattacks. Organisations in UK and Spain are facing the highest risks, with 64% of respondents confirming such experiences in the past two years.

Protecting businesses from cyberattacks

With businesses dealing with high volumes of data, and facing penalties if data is not properly managed under GDPR,  it is vital for organisations to discover and report a data breach as soon as possible. While it is encouraging that over two thirds of the surveyed organisations find out about a breach in eight hours or less, 25% of businesses fail to take action during the first hours after the attack.

Immediate detection means a $456K cost of recovery, compared to £1.2m for enterprises that take more than a week to detect a threat, meaning time is of the essence when protecting businesses from cyberattacks and limiting financial damage.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab UK, said that protecting businesses from cyberattacks should be a priority:

“It is alarming that more than half of businesses across Europe have suffered cyberattacks 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 [IT decision makers] 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.”