Data breaches hitting more companies than ever

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Six in every ten businesses have experienced a data breach at some point during the last three years according to new research from Bitdefender.

The firm surveyed more than 6,000 infosec professionals across the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to compile its global Hacked Off! study.

Bitdefender found that infosec professionals are acutely aware of the risks their organizations face with more than half (58 percent) worried about organizational readiness in the face of a global cyberattack and 49 percent said they are even losing sleep over it.

The C-suite is doing little to ease employee anxiety and more than a third of respondents report a lack of cybersecurity understanding from general employees. C-suite support is minimal and as many as 57 percent of the infosec professionals surveyed said that key executives are the least likely to comply with organizational cybersecurity policy as they either push back on or completely disregard the rules.

Breach fatigue

Stress levels among infosec professionals remain high as they continue to suffer from breach fatigue. On average, more than half (53 percent) of endpoint detection and response alerts are false alarms which has led to 49 percent of infosec professionals saying their team has experienced both alert and agent fatigue.

This stress is compounded by the belief that 73 percent of respondents think their organization is more at risk of a cyberattack because they are under-resourced and this figure is even higher (78%) for respondents at companies which employ over 1,000 people.

Among infosec professionals there is a desperate need for the speed of response to increase. Almost one in three of respondents (29 percent) revealed that it would take a week or longer to detect an advanced cyberattack and only three in every one hundred reported that 100 percent of advanced attacks can efficiently detected and isolated.

According to Bitdefender's study, the fallout from being unaware of an on-going breach would be business interruption (43 percent), reputational cost (38 percent) and a loss of revenue (37 percent). However, more than a third of respondents (37 percent) say the loss of customer trust is their biggest concern.

Global cybersecurity researcher at Bitdefender, Liviu Arsene provided further insight on the study's findings, saying:

“Poor cybersecurity is an undeniable threat to businesses today. From the loss of customer trust to the impact on the bottom line it is critical for infosec professionals to get it right. Our advice would be to focus on critical areas of improvement. The Hacked Off! Study reveals that infosec professionals believe that the main drivers for boosting their organizations' cybersecurity profiles are improving data protection, and faster detection and response capabilities. In addition, respondents suggest investments also need to be made into more effective ways of detecting cyber threats, with 'network traffic analysis', and anti-malware technology topping the list. And interestingly, they reveal EDR should not be discounted, with seven in ten infosec professionals believing that EDR can help prevent future attacks."

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.