Data Driven Futures

Cyber threat reaches ‘sustained and sophisticated’ level

Written by Peter Walker
02/10/19

The current cyber security threat environment is “sustained and sophisticated”, with phishing attacks serving as the primary cause of data breaches, according to Carbon Black.

The cloud-native endpoint protection company released the results of its third UK Threat Report, based on a survey of 250 chief information officers, chief technology officers and chief information security officers across the UK.

The results showed that 84 per cent of UK businesses reported suffering a data breach during the past 12 months, and the same percentage reported an increase in overall attack volume in the past 12 months.

The report revealed that 90 per cent of UK businesses said cyber attacks have grown more sophisticated, although the same proportion said threat hunting has improved their defences. A further 93 per cent of UK businesses said they plan to increase their security budgets over the next year.

Another finding was that 88 per cent of UK businesses said they have IT security concerns around digital transformation projects and 5G network rollout.

Asked about the security around the implementation and management of digital transformation programmes and 5G rollout, only 11 per cent of UK respondents said they had no concerns, while 38 per cent predicted it would offer more effective and destructive methods of cyberattacks.

Rick McElroy, head of security strategy at Carbon Black, said that it appears businesses are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of sustained and sophisticated cyber attacks.

“Greater awareness of external threats and compliance risks have also prompted businesses to become more proactive about managing cyber risks as they witness the financial and reputational impacts that breaches entail.”

The latest report found a sharp increase in breaches caused by phishing attacks in the UK compared to its prior report, indicating threat actors are targeting the weakest link in the security chain – users.

Carbon Black found that 35 per cent of UK businesses noted a degree of financial damage associated with breaches, with nine per cent saying the damage was severe. In contrast, 72 per cent said they suffered damage to their corporate reputation, with 13 per cent saying it was severe.