Are U.K Businesses Prepared for the New Cyber War?

For those living in the U.S., this country might seem like the center of the free world. As such, our businesses come under cyber attack through various Websites and online presences. It is the very nature of the dangers inherent in doing business in this computer age that has led to an increased awareness in our country, but what about abroad, asks

DDoS Attacks in the U.K.

A recent survey by the analysis and communication firm Neustar revealed that over one-fifth of U.K. businesses have been subjected to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks in 2012. A poll associated with the survey points to telecommunication businesses, e-commerce firms, and retailers suffering the highest level of such attacks, but the poll goes on to show that DDoS attacks provide a threat to large and small companies in all sectors of business. The worst part is that many do not have adequate security measures in place.

What Is at Stake?

Most DDoS attacks pose a revenue risk of $1,500 or less per hour of downtime, though 31% of telecommunication firms and 26% of businesses in the financial sector suffered more than $153,000 in lost revenues and other damages. A lot of the time, the amount of damage dealt depended in large part on the amount of downtime companies suffered. This breaks down to 37% of DDoS attacks lasting more than 24 hours, 24% going on for three days or more, and 22% lasting over a week.

Worse yet, monetary damages represent only a fraction of the damage done. Most often companies suffering from a publicized DDoS attack also suffer from an erosion of their brand identity and the reputation they have with their customers.

Need for Improvement

Despite the risk, some businesses in the U.K. feel it is okay to operate with less than adequate cybersecurity. These companies, over 20% of total businesses in the U.K., rely on routers, switches, and Web application firewalls to protect their companies’ important data. Unfortunately, these types of devices and programs do not provide the protection necessary to withstand a DDoS attack.

What Needs to Happen

In order to adequately protect themselves from invasion by hackers, companies in the U.K. and around the world need to invest in a mixture of on-premise and cloud-based monitoring of their data, as well as having some sort of mitigation capability in case a DDoS attack does happen. Such a setup can be managed within the company, from another facility that deals with such security functions, or a combination of the two.

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