Attacks a Top Risk, After Target Hack

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 04:02 PM gHale


A majority of U.S. companies now regard the threat from cyber attacks as one of their top three business risks, a new survey found.

In addition, attacks on businesses, including banks and retail giants such as Target, led businesses to increase their cyber security budget. Of those businesses planning to increase their cyber security budget over the next 12 months, 78 percent cited the recent attacks as having a significant influence on their decision.

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The research found 53 percent of U.S. companies surveyed now regard the threat from cyber attacks as one of their top three business risks, which echoes the warning from the World Economic Forum that cyber attacks are among the 5 biggest threats facing the world in 2014. The research, conducted by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, details business concerns and opinion around security and indicates a strong demand from major global companies for greater intelligence about the nature of new cyber threats and a better understanding of business vulnerability.

The BAE survey, entitled “Business and the Cyber Threat: the rise of Digital Criminality,” found the majority of U.S. respondents (82 percent) expected targeted cyber attacks to increase over the next two years.

The research also showed businesses believe their increasing exposure to cyber threats, caused by new ways of working, poses a risk as they adapt business practices to keep pace with the hyper-connected world. Seventy-two percent of North American respondents thought the cyber risk posed by mobile technologies was a significant risk but only 61 percent remained confident they understood the risks.

Faced with these challenges, about one third of respondents still did not believe their Board of Directors fully understood security risks.

Further U.S. findings:
• Cost: 29 percent of respondents estimated a successful cyber attack would cost their organization more than $75 million; 20 percent said more than $15 million.
• Cause of attacks: The group identified as most likely to mount targeted attacks was organized groups of fraudsters (55 percent of respondents).
• Concern: When asked what they would be most concerned about in the event of a successful attack, the most common response in the US was loss of customer data (61 percent). The second ranking concern amongst US respondents was theft of intellectual property, with 47 percent of Americans concerned about IP theft.
• Confidence: A substantial majority (88 percent) were confident in their organization’s ability to prevent targeted cyber attacks.
• Crisis Plans: 28 percent of U.S. organizations surveyed still did not have, or were unaware of, crisis plans in the event of a cyber attack on their company. Of those respondents who did have crisis plans, 56 percent thought these were well known.

“What this research clearly shows is that U.S. businesses are increasingly aware of the cyber threat and have a range of counter measures in place,” said Martin Sutherland, managing director, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.



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