Report shows attacks on business data integrity still high

A new study has shown that in Europe around 28 per cent of businesses have experienced attacks against the integrity of their data. A total of 420 firms were questioned as part of the study carried out by InfoSecurity, highlighting the persistent threat posed to inadequately protected data.

Although the frequency of the attacks is high, only six per cent of the affected firms said that they had been seriously affected by the assaults and as a result had strengthened their data protection systems.

Any attack on the integrity of an organisation’s data that succeeds could have a negative effect on the firm involved. Everything from credit ratings to public perception can be damaged and thus the financial burden can be felt long after the event has been detected and new measures have been put in place.

The study also found that 14 per cent of firms cannot actually identify an attack and 50 per cent say that although they have yet to detect any direct attack, if such an event were to occur, it could prove to be serious.

Of the hundreds of organisations questioned, only three per cent said that they were confident that attacks against the integrity of their data would never be a significant issue.

Data protection expert Bob Tarzey said that growing data volumes within businesses would only heighten the problem of integrity attacks and the nervousness of businesses in relation to this matter was understandable.

Mr Tarzey said that he was surprised by the number of respondents who said that their businesses had been hit by attacks in the recent past. He believes that the inability of businesses to detect these attacks could lead to a mounting issue surrounding data integrity in the future.

InfoSecurity’s Claire Sellick added that the confidentiality and availability of data within businesses needs to be addressed in the same way in which the integrity of that data is handled. Many experts are calling for businesses to disclose information about the incidents that they do manage to detect, rather than withholding it for fear of the ramifications.

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