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Report reveals escalating cyberattacks

by Andy Clutton

VMware has released its 2021 Global Security Insights Report, which highlights the challenges and issues facing businesses worldwide when it comes to escalating cyberattacks. It identifies trends in hacking and malicious attacks and the financial and reputational impact breaches have had. It looks at how organisations are adapting their security and infrastructure to deal with the challenges of a distributed workforce and evolving their defenses to make security intrinsic to infrastructure and operation.

A few key findings include:

  • A lack of urgency despite surge in material breaches. 81% of respondents have suffered a breach in the last twelve months with 4 out of 5 breaches (82%) considered material. Yet, security professionals have underestimated the likelihood of a material breach. Only 56% say they fear a material breach in the next year, and just over one-third (41%) have updated their security policy and approach to mitigate the risk.
  • Resurgence of ransomware and remote work creates unpredictable attack surface. 76% of respondents said attack volumes had increased – with majority pointing to employees working from home as the cause – and 79% said attacks had become more sophisticated. Cloud-based attacks were the most frequently experienced attack type in the past year, whereas the leading breach causes were third-party apps (14%) and ransomware (14%).
  • Cloud-first security strategies are now universal. 98% of respondents already use or plan to use a cloud-first security strategy. But the move to cloud has expanded the threat surface. Nearly two thirds (61%) agree they need to view security differently now that the attack surface has expanded. 43% of respondents said they plan to build more security into their infrastructure and apps and reduce the number of point solutions.
  • Applications and workloads are top CISO concerns. Applications and workloads are viewed as the most vulnerable points on the data journey by CxOs. 63% agree they need better visibility over data and apps in order to preempt attacks. 60% of respondents also shared that their senior leadership team feel increasingly worried about bringing new applications to market because of the growing threat and damage of cyber attacks.
  • Security concerns are holding back adoption of AI. The next frontier for business innovation may be artificial intelligence, but more than half of CxOs (56%) say that security concerns are holding them back from embracing AI and machine learning.

The full global and UK reports can be found here.

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