EU firms unsure of damages caused by cyber-attacks

European businesses are still getting used to the fact that cyber-attack are inevitable, as some are left unsure if their data has been compromised or not.

Those are the results of a new research conducted by business advisory firm Quocirca and security firm Trend Micro.

The report says that 31 companies, out of 251 that had been successfully targeted, said they didn’t know if any data had been stolen.

Another six knew of an attack, but knew not how much data was compromised. In a press release following the findings, the two companies said “this research demonstrates that many European businesses are still unprepared for targeted attacks and how to manage their aftermath”.

Still, things are not as grim as they used to be. In 2013, 26 per cent of respondents were complacent about these breaches. However, in 2015 this figure has plummeted to just 6 per cent.

Almost a quarter of respondents now agree targeted attacks are inevitable, while 26 per cent feel they are a growing concern and 44 per cent feel they are a long term concern.

However, even though the change in the attitude is evident, there has been little action, the two companies said.

There is a greater than 1 in 10 chance that this will lead to serious data loss and or/reputational damage. Most companies accept they have been targeted more than once, while 70 per cent of 369 companies admitting the number of attacks are increasing. Less than 5 per cent of respondents said the numbers were decreasing.

Although overall figures for the UK were lower, six British organisations still made it onto the list of the worst 40 reported attacks – including the two of the most serious incidents, both involving costs of more than £700,000, devastating data loss and serious reputational damage. All six organisations had specialist IT security teams, operations centres and/or managed security service providers in place.