The threat level of cyber attacks on virtually every organization continues to increase, with more than half of companies reporting the loss of customer data as a result of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and three-quarters of organizations suffering a breach in 2015.

Those are among the findings of the latest research from Neustar Inc., from its third global DDoS Attacks and Protection Report entitled, “The Threatscape Widens: DDoS Aggression and the Evolution of IoT Risks.” The April report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 IT professionals across six continents, and reveals that few organizations globally are being spared DDoS attacks.

“With the bombardment fairly constant throughout 2015, it is no longer a matter of if or when attacks might happen, but how often and how long the attack will last,” the report warns.

The research results show that although revenue loss caused by a DDoS related outage is usually the main concern of targeted organizations, 57 percent of all breaches involved some sort of theft, including intellectual property and customer data as well as financial information.

“More troubling, following the initial breach, 45 percent of organizations reported the installation of a virus or malware—a sign that attackers are interested in causing ongoing harm,” the report explains.

Although DDoS attack tactics continue to evolve from single large attacks intended to take a website offline to the multi-vector attacks being experienced today, organizations are fighting back, the research finds. Some 76 percent of companies are investing more in DDoS protection than in 2014, and 47 percent of attacked organizations are participating in security consortiums to share information on threats and countermeasures.

Among the key findings of the study:

  • 73 percent of global brands and organizations were attacked.
  • 82 percent of organizations experiencing a DDoS attack were then attacked repeatedly, with 45 percent reporting they were attacked six or more times.
  • 57 percent of organizations reported theft after attack, including loss of customer data, finances or intellectual property
  • 50 percent of organizations would lose at least $100,000 per hour in a peak-time DDoS-related outage, with 33 percent losing more than $250,000 per hour. Of organizations surveyed, 42 percent needed at least three hours to detect that they were experiencing a DDoS attack.
  • 76 percent of organizations are investing more than last year in response to the DDoS threat.
  • 71 percent of financial services firms attacked experienced some form of theft, and 38 percent found viruses or malware activation after an attack.

“The findings of our most recent report are clear: attacks are unrelenting around the world. but organizations are now recognizing DDoS attacks for what they are—an institutionalized weapon of cyber warfare—and so are protecting themselves,” says Rodney Joffe, head of IT security research at Neustar. “We present the data from our third DDoS survey as a means to inform the public of the dangers associated with DDoS attacks and advance a conversation about the importance of multi-layered cybersecurity. This should be a discourse that reaches from security through to marketing; when a DDoS attack hits, the reverberations are felt like a domino effect throughout all departments.”

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