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Most firms think they'll be hit by a security attack this year

Cyberattack
(Image credit: Cyberattack)

A new report by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint has revealed that a majority of businesses believe they are at risk of a cyberattack in 2021.

Assessing their current security standards, 53% of CISO and CSOs in the UK and Ireland admitted that their organizations suffered a cyberattack in 2020, with 14% dealing with multiple attacks. Looking ahead to 2021, 64% said that their company remains at risk of attack over the next year, with this figure rising for larger businesses.

Looking at the sorts of threats CISOs and CSO see on the horizon, ransomware is deemed to be the biggest cause for concern, with 46% of respondents identifying it as the biggest cybersecurity risk they will face over the next two years. Cloud account compromise, insider threats, and phishing campaigns were also identified as major concerns.

Raising awareness

Proofpoint also acquired information on how businesses are attempting to safeguard against these threats. Improving employee training is the top priority but 54% of respondents also stated that limited time and resources are an obstacle to developing an effective training program.

“It’s encouraging that the majority of IT leaders are showing awareness of the risks and challenges they face,” Andrew Rose, Resident CISO for the EMEA region at Proofpoint, explained. 

“However, it is a little concerning to see that attack vectors such as Business Email Compromise are not as highly prioritized as they could be – given that they are more commonplace than ransomware, and still create massive financial losses.  The fact that employee awareness is high on the list of priorities is positive, as regular and comprehensive training is vital to building a security culture, which can protect your firm.”

One of the biggest protections against cyberattacks is awareness of the scale of the threat. Perhaps the most worrying finding from the Proofpoint report is that 28% of those surveyed believe an attack in 2021 was unlikely to be a cause for concern.