A new report by the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance says cyber attacks on businesses rose from 82,000 in 2016 to 159,700 in 2017 driven by the increase in ransomware-related incidents.
The report also showed that 93 percent of cyber breaches could have been prevented if companies had initiated several measures such as regular software updates, use of email authentication to block fraudulent emails and personnel training to help address phishing attacks.
OTA found that actual hacks represented 52 percent of the reported cyber incidents in 2017, while the lack of security software and internal controls accounted for 15 percent and 11 percent of the breaches respectively.
“Regular patching has always been a best practice and neglecting it is a known cause of many breaches, but this received special attention in 2017 in light of the Equifax breach,” said Jeff Wilbur, director of the OTA initiative at the Internet Society.
“In 2018 we expect patches to play an even more integral role due to the recently discovered Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities where nearly every computer chip manufactured in the last 20 years was found to contain fundamental security flaws.”
The report is based on the analysis of threat intelligence data from various sources such as the FBI, Ponemon Institute, Symantec, Verizon, Proofpoint, Malwarebytes, Cybersecurity Ventures and Risk Based Security.