Ransomware protection
Image Source: Richard Patterson

Research Reveals Increased Board Visibility of Cyber Attacks

A survey from cybersecurity firm SentinelOne has revealed growing awareness amongst Boards of the need to protect against cyber threats, following last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, as part of an international survey of 500 businesses in the UK, France, Germany and the USA, found that half of all respondents, 50%, say that there is more visibility of attacks at board level, as reported bottom line losses by companies like Maersk have highlighted the economic cost of ransomware.

The biggest board level reaction to ransomware has been on user education, with 54% of respondents citing that there is now more likelihood of implementing employee training and awareness programmes. Over two in five, 43%, of respondents report that there is now more company budget being allocated to security.

Despite last year’s wave of attacks, there is evidence that organisations are feeling optimistic about the fight back against ransomware, with 79% of respondents reporting that they are getting better at fighting ransomware. 75% also agree that behaviour-based analytics is the only way to stop more sophisticated ransomware attacks.

The research also reveals that the majority of IT Security professionals, 62%, would like to see more resources for law enforcement agencies to track down cyber criminals, to protect organisations and citizens against ransomware attacks. A further 57% felt that laws needed to catch up and that tougher sentences should be imposed on criminals.

This call for more resources could prove challenging, however, given that fewer organisations are reporting ransomware attacks. Over the past year, only 49% of organisations reported ransomware attacks to law enforcement agencies, which is down from 54% in 2016’s report.

This comes as The National Crime Agency has recently issued a warning on under-reporting of data breaches.

In the post-Brexit era, when more questions are being asked about the potential impact on cyber-intelligence sharing, most UK organisations - 75% - want to see greater international co-operation between countries to protect against attacks. A further 31% of organisations were in favour of governments having the power to ‘hack back’ in the case of nation state attacks.

Migo Kedem, Director of Product Management at SentinelOne says: “Clearly the impact of last year’s ransomware attacks has been far reaching. However, on a positive note, the publicity which these attacks garnered has made Board members sit up and take notice of the potential impact to their organisation. It’s also encouraging to see that this is translating into positive action, such as user awareness training.”

He adds: “We certainly can’t afford to be complacent. Ransomware attacks are spreading faster and becoming more destructive and sophisticated. Organisations need to keep pace with this and employ techniques that can detect even the stealthiest of attacks.”

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