IT professionals worldwide are more than twice as worried about data breaches and cyber attacks today than they were this time last year, a new survey has found.
The research by Neustar reveals that system compromises and ransomware are considered the greatest threats, with one-fifth of respondents citing both as primary concerns.
It was also found that nine in ten believe highly-damaging Meltdown and Spectre attacks will become the new norm, with almost all having taken steps to minimise that risk.
Neustar senior vice president, Rodney Joffe, said the “distressing” findings should not come as a surprise, and that firms are struggling to respond to a growing number of threats.
“There are more threats, whether in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), malware, or something else entirely, leaving professionals confused about where the next attack is coming from,” he said.
“Security professionals are becoming more concerned about the level of threat to their organisations because that same level of threat is continuing to rise at an extreme rate.”
The findings also show that 47% of security professionals believe DDoS attacks will become increasingly harmful to their organisations in 2018, up from 38% last year.
In addition, it was found that a clear majority believe it would take them between 60 seconds and five minutes to respond to an attack, similar to 2017’s results.
However, Neustar said it was alarming that cyber attacks now rarely occur in isolation, and that a DDoS threat in one segment could divert attention from malware in another, while ransomware can be used to hasten data extraction.
The firm also warned that the internet of things is paving the way for botnets, which are increasingly being purchased by cyber criminals, and present one the biggest threats to organisations today.
“To successfully prepare for a cyber-attack in today’s landscape is to accept that your organisation will be the next target,” Joffe continued.
“If you are online, you are susceptible to an attack. Whether you are most vulnerable or not is entirely up to you.”
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