Most attacks are driven by financial fraud, Check Point research finds
The vast majority of targeted attacks are driving by financial fraud, according to new research.
According to Israeli security firm Check Point, 63% of C-level executives and senior IT staff in the UK who experienced targeted attacks said financial fraud was the main motivation. This was followed by customer data (48%) and intellectual property theft (46%).
Despite all the headlines generated by Anonymous, LulzSec and the like, just 2% of UK respondents thought political or ideological agendas were behind an attack on their systems.
The Check Point research also attempted to quantify the financial damage resulting from a cyber attack. According to the research a successful attack now costs businesses an average of £144,375.
It also seems that UK businesses are battling a huge number of threats, with 68 new security attack attempts being reported each week. However this figure was behind the US (79) and Germany (82).
Interestingly, smartphones and tablets were listed as the biggest vulnerability in many organisations, followed by remote access to the network, removable media devices such as USB sticks and social networks.
Tomer Teller, security evangelist and researcher at Check Point, said most cyber criminals seem to be motivated by financial gain.
"For the most part, the goal of attackers is to obtain valuable information," he said. "These days, credit card data shares space on the shelves of virtual hacking stores with items such as employee records and Facebook or email log-ins, as well as zero-day exploits that can be stolen and sold on the black market ranging anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000.
"Unfortunately, the rate of cybercrime seems to be climbing as businesses experience a surge in Web 2.0 use and mobile computing in corporate environments – giving hackers more channels of communication and vulnerable entry points into the network," Teller added.
Teller also spoke about the organised nature of today’s hackers. "Cybercriminals are no longer isolated amateurs. They belong to well-structured organisations, often employing highly-skilled hackers to execute targeted attacks, many of whom receive significant amounts of money depending on the region and nature of the attack," he said.