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Successful cyber-attacks growing in numbers

More than a third (77 per cent) of businesses said they experienced a rise in successful cyber-attacks in the past 12 months.

Those are the results of a new study conducted by Dimensional Research, on behalf of endpoint security firm Tripwire. The study asked more than 150 professionals in the energy, utilities, and oil and gas industries about their cyber-security challenges.

Besides the increase in successful attacks, in the study it also says that for 68 per cent of companies, the rate of successful cyber-attacks jumped by more than 20 per cent in the last month alone.

“It’s tempting to believe that this increase in attacks is horizontal across industries, but the data shows that energy organizations are experiencing a disproportionately large increase when compared to other industries,” said Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire. “At the same time, energy organizations face unique challenges in protecting industrial control systems and SCADA assets.”

The study also unveiled that 78 per cent experienced outside attacks, while 30 per cent suffered an inside job. Forty-four per cent said they weren’t able to gather enough data to determine the source of the attack.

“Detecting attacks successfully is the midpoint of the overall process,” Erlin continued. “Energy organizations need to invest in greater prevention and forensic tools to decrease the rate of successful attacks and fully investigate those they can’t prevent.”

On top of it all, 22 per cent of businesses admitted they don’t have the mechanisms to determine what data is sensitive and confidential.

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