Businesses around the globe that are undergoing rapid expansion and growth due to digital transformation. The bad news is that they are also seeing a massive increase in cyber attacks and compromises, and many are still unprepared to handle the consequences.
These were some of the issues raised and discussed in a media session last week where Acronis revealed the findings of its Cyber Readiness Report 2020.
Kevin Reed, Acronis CISO, started the event by talking about the different cyber attacks that have happened this year and their impact on various organisations. He highlighted incidents such as the DDoS attack on New Zealand’s Stock Exchange Market, the Zoom bombings of virtual classrooms in Singapore and the Tokopedia data breach in Indonesia, all of which should serve as a valuable lesson to individuals as well as businesses – that attacks are varied and they can happen at any time, to anyone. Companies especially, need to be prepared to match their cyber protection to the emerging cyber attacks.
The aim of the Cyber Readiness Report is to help businesses understand new cybersecurity challenges that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic and their impact on corporate IT infrastructure. To that end, Acronis surveyed IT managers and remote workers within 17 countries to find out more about the current cybersecurity situation. These countries include Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK, and USA.
The report revealed that while IT costs have increased for 72% of global companies and 92% have had to adopt new technologies to work remotely, security gaps are widening, particularly because organisations do not have an integrated platform to secure their increasingly diverse IT environments. “There is no all-in-one solution and there are high costs associated with the current (digital) transition”, explained Kevin.
Among other notable findings from the report include:
31% of companies around the world are attacked at least once a day, with phishing, DDoS, and videoconferencing attacks plague companies the most. However, the report also suggested that companies are not paying attention to this, with only 2% of global companies prioritising URL filtering and 43% focusing on antimalware features in their corporate solution, for example.
50% of companies were attacked weekly during the past three months, with Singapore and India reporting almost twice as many malware attacks than the global average. During the briefing, Kevin suggested that the numbers may actually be on the low side since there’s a possibility of companies experiencing attacks that they are not aware of.
The top three tech challenges identified by remote workers were Wi-Fi connectivity, using a VPN and other security measures, and the inability to use internal networks and applications.
Despite the risks, however, remote work is here to stay. According to the report, 49% of global employees purchased at least one new device since they started working remotely, 58% of employees report feeling better equipped to work remotely now than before the pandemic and only 12% of global employees preferring full office work arrangements.
The report also shared a few interesting trends and predictions, as we get closer to 2021:
Malicious Software as a Service is on the rise, making malicious toolkits more accessible than ever.
#WorkFromAnywhere will soon replace #WorkFromHome, wiping out the relevance of perimeter security.
Device security is a growing concern and a growing cost item, especially as employees continue to work remotely and purchase new devices themselves.
Attack frequency will increase drastically, which will result in automation, AI and machine learning further becoming critical aspects of cyber protection.
The development of 5G technology and the IoT will lead to a botnet increase – creating a surge in DDoS risks.
These insights provided by the Acronis report shows that the modern cyber threat landscape demands modern protection, and it needs to be implemented now. “The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically during the past few years and in the last six months in particular. Traditional stand-alone antivirus and backup solutions are unable to protect against modern cyber threats,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, founder and CEO of Acronis. “Organisations that modernise their stack with integrated data protection and cybersecurity not only gain greater security, they lower their costs and improve efficiencies.”