Targeted attacks against businesses on the rise: Survey

The survey notes that 94 percent of organizations have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident in the past year.

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According to the latest study from security vendor Kaspersky Labs, targeted attacks against businesses have risen substantially over the last year.

The survey notes that 94 percent of organizations have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident in the past year. Of those incidents, 12 percent of respondents reported at least one targeted attack – up from the 9 percent reported by organizations in 2012 and 2013. 

As for the potential losses incurred from such attacks, Kaspersky estimates roughly $2.54 million in damages for enterprises and $84,000 for small businesses. Expenses include the loss of business opportunities, investment in preventative security services and security training for both IT staff and company employees.

For perspective, Target reported in August that it suffered losses totaling $110 million from its now infamous data breach that took place nearly a year ago. Considering what analysts expected, Target made out pretty well. Out of the barrage of retailer breaches that have occurred since then, Target's financial losses are the only ones that have so far been made public. 

The report also points out that 34 percent of companies surveyed feel protecting confidential data from targeted attacks is a key problem for IT management teams, while 39 percent named targeted attacks as their number one concern.

Chris Doggett, managing director for Kaspersky Lab North America, said that while businesses seem to understand the looming threat of targeted attacks, the number of companies instituting a solid safeguard strategy is alarmingly low.

"The survey results clearly indicate that many businesses now recognize that the threat of a targeted attack is very real and could be very harmful for their organization," Doggett said. "With major breaches being reported regularly now, it is critical for businesses of all sizes to make protection of their IT infrastructure their top priority, especially given the damages that arise from each successful targeted attack."

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