Business Data Breach Threat a 'Statistical Certainty'

The latest Ponemon Institute study called the chances of an organization being hacked in a 12-month period a "statistical certainty."

Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and severe with the vast majority of businesses suffering as least one data breach in the past year, according to a new Ponemon Institute survey.

Businesses of all sizes are being hit by cyber-attacks, as 90 percent of surveyed businesses reported at least one IT security breach in the past 12 months, the Ponemon Institute found in its latest report, published June 22. More than half of those respondents, or 90 percent, claimed two or more breaches over the same period. Nine percent reported five or more network intrusions in the past year.

More than half of the respondents had little confidence of being able to prevent another cyber-attack over the next 12 months, according to the survey. About 43 percent of the respondents in the study said there was a significant rise in the frequency of cyber-attacks during the past year and 77 percent said the attacks had become more severe or difficult, to contain, the study found.

"The threat from cyber attacks today is nearing statistical certainty and businesses of every type and size are vulnerable to attacks," the Ponemon Institute said.

After insider abuse, malware accounted for most data breaches, according to the study. The report found that 52 percent of the incidents were the result of malicious insiders. The remainder, or 48 percent, of the breaches were the result of malicious software, either as downloads, embedded on a rogue Website, or distributed by social networking sites, the study found. A mere 19 percent of the breaches could be attributed to system glitches.

This article was originally published on 06-24-2011
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