Huge rise in cyber-attacks in 2015


2015 has seen the number of cyber-attacks against businesses double when compared with the previous year.

Hackers have used a range of methods to attack data held by businesses and, according to research carried out by Kaspersky Lab, the number of cryptolocker attacks has doubled. These are attacks that encrypt the files held by a company and then ask for a ransom to release the data. It is believed that in excess of 50,000 systems have been hit by such an attack. Cyber-attackers are opting for this method because they can demand much more money from a company than they can from individuals.

More than half of company computers have been found to be infected at one time or another, with office apps three times more likely to be infected than consumer apps. A senior security researcher at Kaspersky, Yury Namestnikov, said that companies facing a cryptolocker data security breach should contact security experts and law enforcement, as cyber-attackers do not always release the data once a ransom has been paid.

Data security is not always limited to breaches by hackers. Businesses also need to take into consideration local breaches, such as the use of an infected USB stick.

Businesses likely to be targeted include financial organisations such as banks, pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications companies and gaming companies.

Mr Namestnikov said that regulators are expected to impose tougher standards and it is hoped that more cybercriminals can be caught in 2016.