1 in 3 global firms breached over 7 times in the past year

About one-third (32%) of global organisations have had customer records compromised multiple times over the past 12 months as they struggle to profile and defend an expanding attack surface.

This finding come from Trend Micro’s semi-annual Cyber Risk Index (CRI) report, compiled by the Ponemon Institute from interviews with over 4,100 organisations across North America, Europe, Latin/South America, and Asia-Pacific.

Jon Clay, VP of threat intelligence at Trend Micro, said that with hybrid working ushering in a new era of complex, distributed IT environments, many organisations are finding it difficult to eradicate growing security coverage and visibility gaps. 

“To avoid the attack surface spiraling out of control, they need to combine asset discovery and monitoring with threat detection and response on a single platform,” said Clay.

The CRI calculates the gap between organisational preparedness and the likelihood of being attacked, with -10 representing the highest level of risk. 

The global CRI index moved from -0.04 in the second semester of 2021 to -0.15 in the first semester of 2022, indicating a surging level of risk over the past six months.

This trend is also reflected elsewhere in the data — the number of global organizations experiencing a “successful” cyber-attack increased from 84% to 90% over the same period. 

It is no surprise that the number now expected to be compromised over the coming year has also increased from 76% to 85%.

Some of the top preparedness risks highlighted by the index report are related to attack surface discovery capabilities. It is often challenging for security professionals to identify the physical location of business-critical data assets and applications.

From the business perspective, the biggest concern is the misalignment between CISOs and business executives. Based on the scores given by the respondents, “My organisation’s IT security objectives are aligned with business objectives” only has a score of 4.79 out of 10.

By addressing the shortage of cybersecurity professionals and improving security processes and technology, organisations will significantly reduce their vulnerability to attacks.

Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute, said the CRI continues to provide a fascinating snapshot of how global organisations perceive their security posture and the likelihood of being attacked. 

“The stakes couldn’t be higher in the face of stiff macroeconomic headwinds,” said Ponemon. “Respondents pointed to the high cost of outside expertise, damage to critical infrastructure, and lost productivity as the main negative consequences of a breach.”

Overall, respondents rated the following as the top cyber threats in the first half of 2022 — (1) Business Email Compromise, (2) Clickjacking, (3) fileless attacks, (4) ransomware, and (5) login attacks or credential theft.