New AT&T* research in the latest AT&T Cybersecurity Insights report, “The CEO’s Guide to Navigating the Threat Landscape,” shows that most cyberattacks currently impacting businesses are “known” or common threats. The mainstreaming of cyberattack methods has made it possible for anyone from a nation state to a student to launch an attack on an organization.
While the hype and uncertainty surrounding new cybersecurity threats or vulnerabilities paint the picture that cyberattacks are seemingly unstoppable, in fact, more than 90% of the attacks seen in the past year were “known.” Having the right security measures may have helped prevent those attacks.
AT&T research shows that:
- 90% of companies experienced a malware attack, where infected software infiltrated their network in the past year.
- Ransomware, where attackers threaten an attack in exchange for money or valuable information, and information-stealing software attacks increased sevenfold between July and August 2016.
- In the past year, 73% of companies suffered at least one Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
It’s not just gaps in security protections that leave companies vulnerable to these attacks. An employee clicking a bad link, a simple mistake, can also cause a breach. More than 7,000 businesses in the U.S. suffered total combined losses of around $740 million after employees fell victim to email-based phishing scams from 2013 – 2015.
“The daunting depiction of newly discovered security threats often gets attention from media and business leaders alike. But in fact, most attackers are targeting businesses using forms of attacks we already know about and can help defend against,” said Mo Katibeh, senior vice president of Advanced Solutions, AT&T. “In today’s digital age, businesses need to remain vigilant about deploying and updating core security protections, and in educating employees on how their actions might impact the company’s security.”
“The CEO’s Guide to Navigating the Threat Landscape” provides more detail on what cybersecurity attacks are affecting businesses and how organizations can work to protect against them. That guide is available for download from the AT&T website.
“Protecting against known cybersecurity threats is crucial. Last year, linked2pay was targeted by a DDoS attack, but we were able to quickly activate our breach plan and protect our systems using AT&T’s services and expertise,” said Robert McShirley, CEO of linked2pay. “Had we not, our company could have faced serious repercussions. Our advice to other companies is to make sure you are updating your defenses to protect against the threats already out there. Helping to protect against what we already know could prove critical to your business.”
Essential steps every business should take today include:
- Build your defenses around known threats;
- Create a security culture within your organization;
- Keep current with security patches, logs, and software updates; and
- Implement new technologies with security in mind.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.