Online security

Business leaders now feel more vulnerable to cyber attacks

45% of business leaders say their business has experienced more network security incidents as a result of the pandemic, according to a new survey from Telia Carrier.

Geographically, 55% of US respondents and 49% of UK respondents experienced the most severe impact on their network security as a result of these attacks (suggesting that their companies are more of a target than those in continental Europe) which, in turn, has resulted in a clear majority of respondents (60%) increasing their investment in this area.

The commercial impact

68% of executives said their business had been the victim of a DDoS attack in the past 12 months, with the UK (76%) and US (73%) having a significantly higher proportion compared to 59% of their German counterparts and 56% French. .

Additionally, more than half of the executives who took part in the survey confirmed that they had specifically experienced a ransom or DDoS extortion attack during this period, a large number of them (65%) targeting UK companies, compared to the relatively small number in France. (38%).

“Due to the sensitive nature of these incidents, the investigation did not determine how successful cybercriminals were in extorting money from businesses, but the results underscore the seriousness of the problem and the fact that there is a financial motive behind many DDoS attacks. “, has explained Mattias Fridstrom, chief evangelist at Telia Carrier. “The results also clearly suggest that UK businesses are specifically targeted and that the heightened fears of US and UK businesses are justified.”

COVID-19 has also had an impact on the sense of vulnerability of business leaders, with 51% of them feeling more vulnerable to cyber attacks since the pandemic. Consistent with the other trends identified, the US and UK again appear to feel the most vulnerable.

The impact of these DDoS attacks has been dramatic for some, with 11% of respondents stating that such an attack posed such a serious threat that it could have damaged business continuity. Another 40% said such an attack had a major impact, causing significant disruption and loss of business revenue.

The hardest hit countries were the United Kingdom (43%), followed closely by the United States (39%), with organizations in the financial services and IT services sectors most affected.

Security weaknesses

Surprisingly, 78% of executives reported responding to up to 100 network security incidents in the past 12 months. The numbers were highest in the UK and the US.

When it comes to the nature of the cyber threats encountered, it is not surprising to find that phishing (when victims are contacted by scammers by phone, email or text message and tricked into disclosing sensitive information) is viewed by many. many executives (56%) as the main cyber threat to their business. What is perhaps more telling is the fact that almost as many (49%) consider DDoS attacks to be the same.

Commenting on the results, Mattias Fridström said: “A complete security solution for businesses consists of several components, of which network security is only one part. However, the network is probably the most vulnerable part of the security stack due to its inherent exposure to the outside world, often over long distances. If this fails, all systems and workflows that depend on it do the same. It’s no surprise, when you look at these results, to know that network security is also by far the biggest security cost for businesses, with 42% of executives citing it as their biggest security expense.

Mitigate attacks

To counter network security threats, nearly half (45%) of executives currently mitigate DDoS attacks using ISP / network provider DDoS protection. A significant number of them have their own internal mitigation / purification capacities (34%). Cloud-based solutions are used by less than a fifth, while three in every 100 small but worrying companies do not mitigate at all.

When asked about their knowledge of DDoS protection services from network service providers, more than half (53%) of respondents said they did not consider themselves familiar with the DDoS protection services offered by network service providers. American leaders displayed the highest level of familiarity, while those in France had the lowest.

“Businesses must assess potential security threats across their ICT ecosystem if they are to successfully address the ever-increasing severity and unpredictability of evolving threats in an increasingly digitalized business environment. and distributed. They will need to build on the lessons learned from the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic and evolve their security programs with sufficient margin to protect their business against future and unforeseen threats, ”concluded Mattias Fridström.

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