London UK, 18th September, 2015 – The estimated average number of targeted cyber attacks reported by UK organisations is almost 40 per cent higher than the European average, according to new research from Quocirca and Trend Micro.
“While UK businesses increasingly recognise the reality, scale and impact of targeted attack, the initial data reveals that much more can and should be done in testing their readiness to deal with them”, said Rik Ferguson, VP of Global Research at Trend Micro. “A large number of businesses report having training and penetration testing measures in place, but relatively few are conducting cyber-readiness tests, or fire drills. Raising user awareness and probing your systems are both crucial components but they cannot be fully tested unless brought together in a live-fire exercise involving your employees.”
The Europe-wide research of 500 senior IT decision makers from organisations with over 2,500 employees has found that 64 per cent believe that targeted cyber attacks on their business have increased over the past year, with a 61 per cent increase in the UK.
However, whilst UK organisations report a higher average number of attacks within the last year (8.6 versus a European average of 6.2), they reported that these attacks were less likely to have been successful and that data was less likely to have been stolen.
The number of respondents believing these attacks to now be inevitable and/ or have been a concern for some time has risen sharply since 2013. In fact, the majority believe they will increase and 15% of respondents think this rise will be severe. Almost no UK businesses polled believe targeted attacks will decrease.
Over half of European (52%) and UK organisations (53%) feared that a cyber-attack would have a serious impact on their operation. However, the majority of UK businesses said they had measures in place to mitigate for targeted attacks.
When targeted attacks on UK businesses have been successful, respondents recorded a lower overall average cost to the business. The average estimated cost of a cyber-attack for a UK business is £172,000 compared to £243,000 for all Europe. Although for the UK is an attractive target for cyber criminals, this finding indicates that UK organisations are better prepared for targeted attacks than other European businesses.
UK organisations are ahead of their European counterparts in recognising the importance of having a breach response plan in place. Over half (51%) said that a breach response plan was very important, compared to a European average of 38%. This seems to be instrumental in keeping down the overall cost of breaches in the UK.
“Initial analysis of the new data suggests UK organisations are better prepared”, said Bob Tarzey, Analyst and Director at Quocirca. “However, much more could be done by most UK organisations to prevent attacks and deal with the aftermath when some are inevitably successful. Some of those reported led to devastating data losses, the cost of dealing with which was way above the average.”
Across Europe, the most recent attack for the average organisation has occurred within the last three months (87 days), with the UK figure standing at 80 days.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704), a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our solutions for consumers, Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ provide layered content security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. Leveraging these solutions, organizations can protect their end users, their evolving data center and cloud resources, and their information threatened by sophisticated targeted attacks.
All of solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe.
For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com/en_gb/. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicroUK.