The corona crisis often has a negative impact on the IT security of companies. This is the result of a research report published on Monday by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN).
Working in the home office and using private hardware and software therefore increase the risk of infection with malware and phishing attacks. Above all, however, companies with a tense economic situation that rarely take additional IT security measures are at risk.
Defense is required
The authors of the report surveyed a total of 5,000 companies with more than ten employees in 2018/19. More than 600 companies took part in a follow-up survey between July and September 2020. 60 percent of them reported that they had to respond to at least one cyber attack within a year. Automatically repelled attacks, for example by a firewall, are not included. In 85 percent of the cases, the attackers were repelled at an early stage of the experiment.
According to the KFN, so-called dark field data on the subject of cyber attacks against companies were collected for the first time over a longer period of time in the “Cyber security in companies” project. Because the reporting rate of such crimes is low: in the first round it was 12 and now 9 percent. The most common reasons given for this were the low level of damage, followed by the lack of prospect of success in the investigation.
Methodology of work
The Leibniz University of Hanover was a partner in the “Cyber attacks against companies” project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics. According to KFN, the survey was based on a stratified random sample from two company databases and includes companies with ten or more employees in almost all industries. Interview partners were mainly IT managers and members of the management.
The random sample was weighted retrospectively. When interpreting the central results, according to the authors, it should be taken into account that small companies with 10-49 employees make up the largest proportion (79 percent), whereas large companies with more than 500 employees make up only 2 percent in the weighted sample.
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