Muscat - Phishing attacks and spam are cyber threats most frequently encountered by companies. Malicious attacks are actually the number one reason behind serious leakage of confidential data - 22 per cent of companies globally and 18 per cent in GCC reported that they have suffered data leakage after these types of attacks.
These are the findings published in the Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey. The global average indicated that these incidents are more common among small and mid-sized companies (23 per cent), while large companies are targeted less frequently (17 per cent).
Data leakages are less frequently the result of phishing attacks, with an average of just five per cent of companies both globally and in GCC encountering these types of incidents.
However, the percentage of large companies who lost data due to phishing attacks is a bit higher (six per cent) than the number of small and medium enterprises in the same situation (five per cent) as reported globally.
Sixty-six per cent of the survey's respondents reported that their companies were targeted in attacks involving viruses, worms, spyware, and other types of malicious software. The volume of spam attacks is noted by 55 per cent of companies.
While phishing attacks, that remain in the top three most prevalent threats in external attacks against corporations, were launched against 33 per cent of the companies.
Companies in South America were the most frequent targets of malicious attacks: 72 per cent of respondents from the region ranked viruses and spyware the number one external threats. Russian companies were also frequent targets, with 71 per cent reporting attacks.
North America was the third most-attacked region, with 70 per cent of companies reporting attacks. Japanese companies suffered the least, with only 47 per cent of survey participants reporting any malware attacks.
Meanwhile, spam is most frequently encountered by North American and Russian companies (69 per cent and 67 per cent, respectively). The companies dealing with the least amount of spam are located in the Middle East (55 per cent) and in Japan (42 per cent).
The number of cyber threats is growing constantly, for example Kaspersky Lab discovered 315,000 new malware samples every day in 2013, compared to 200,000 in 2012. This is forcing companies to pay more attention to their security, especially after they experience a cyber-incident.
However, according to the survey only 64 per cent of businesses have fully-implemented anti-malware (anti-virus and anti-spyware) protection in place. That is a small improvement on 2012's figure of 62 per cent. The corporate security situation is changing - more and more companies are turning to complex security solutions. The varied range of attacks launched against companies means that companies need a professional security solution capable of effectively countering cyber threats.