Enterprises are failing to tackle targeted network attacks

Analyst Quocirca questioned 300 companies in the UK, France and Germany

Large companies expect more protection from their existing security tools than they are capable of, shows research, which also found that almost three quarters (72 percent) of European enterprises have suffered a targeted attack on their networks.

Analyst Quocirca questioned 300 companies in the UK, France and Germany that have over 2,500 employees.

The results of the survey showed that although awareness of the growing threat from targeted attacks is improving amongst European organisations, most are still failing to muster an effective response.

Of the 72 percent of respondents who said they had experienced a targeted attack, a third highlighted that such an attack had had a "significant" impact on their organisation. A loss of financial data was stated as the biggest impact, followed by lost business, loss of regulated personal data and a loss of intellectual property.

The research highlighted that a range of sophisticated techniques were employed to attack respondents' organisations, including zero day exploits, polymorphic and encrypted malware, and using a command and control server inside the victim's network to avoid detection.

Yet, despite the growing awareness of such threats and the painful experience of many respondents, firms are being slow to react.Some 52 percent said they weren't deploying or evaluating any tools to specifically help mitigate the threats, while just under one third said they would devote less than 10 percent of their budget on targeted attacks in the next 12 months.

Around a third of respondents surveyed said they were not investing in advanced technology, such as automated file sandboxing, network-based threat analysis, deep packet inspection and file integrity monitoring that can tackle such threats.

Tellingly, traditional defences such as anti-malware and firewalls topped the list of deployed security technology - tools which aren't able to combat the threat of targeted attacks.

The research found that public sector respondents were guilty of a worrying level of complacency, with over a third claiming targeted attacks are not a concern, despite 74 percent of such organisations having been a victim of these attacks in the past.

The research was sponsored by cloud security software firm Trend Micro. Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at Trend Micro, said: "The research clearly illustrates the knowledge-gap that exists in many organisations between the nature of targeted attacks and the technologies that may be effective in mitigating them.

"Respondents were very clear on what constitutes a targeted attack, and the means and methods that are employed to gain persistent access to highly sensitive data. However, the majority of enterprises are still relying on technology designed to combat the more widespread, less customised malware to which we have become accustomed."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityNetworkingIT Business

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Antony Savvas

Computerworld UK
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?