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DDoS attacks becoming stronger, with many UK businesses unprepared to face them

Cyber-attacks are becoming more of a problem for businesses according to new research which was commissioned by BT.

According to the study, carried out by Vanson Bourne who spoke to 640 IT decision makers in businesses with 1000 or more employees across 11 countries, one in five firms have seen their networks taken down for a full working day due to a miscreant (or miscreants) aiming nefarious actions at their systems.

Furthermore, 41 per cent of those interviewed said they had been hit by a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack in the past year – and 78 per cent of those, the vast majority, had suffered two or more attacks in that time period.

DDoS attacks are viewed as a major concern by a third of businesses in the UK (36 per cent to be precise), and globally, that figure rises far more to 58 per cent.

Only half of organisations in the UK have a response plan drawn up to enable them to better recover from such an attack – which perhaps reflects the relative lack of concern compared to the rest of the world which we've just mentioned. Only 8 per cent of UK respondents believed that they had sufficient means to counteract any such attack.

59 per cent of those questioned said that DDoS attacks are becoming better at circumventing any security measures, and cyber-ne'er-do-wells using multi-vector attacks are on the increase (these incidents are up 41 per cent in the last year).

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, commented: "DDoS attacks have evolved significantly in the last few years and are now a legitimate business concern. They can have a damaging effect on revenues and send an organisation into full crisis mode. Reputations, revenue and customer confidence are on the line following a DDoS attack, not to mention the upfront time and cost that it takes an organisation to recover following an attack. Finance, e-commerce companies and retailers in particular suffer when their websites or businesses are targeted."

Check out our feature on how to tell if you've been hit by a DDoS attack, which details 5 ways to be prepared.

Image source: Shutterstock/alexskopje