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Attacks and breaches the new normal for businesses

Most British businesses have suffered a data breach in the past year, with executives saying cyber attacks were becoming more sophisticated.

That's according to a survey of 250 C-level business leaders across the UK by security firm Carbon Black, which said data breaches and hacking attacks were becoming the "new normal".

Of the businesses polled, 84% said they'd suffered a data breach within the last year, with the same number reporting an overall increase in the number of attacks they faced. Larger companies reported a doubling in attack volume, while smaller businesses said attack frequency had increased by 57%. Nine in ten of those surveyed said they believed that attacks were becoming more sophisticated."As we analyse the findings of our third UK Threat Report, it appears businesses are adjusting to the 'new normal' of sustained and sophisticated cyberattacks," said Rick McElroy, head of security strategy at Carbon Black. "Greater awareness of external threats and compliance risks have also prompted businesses to become more proactive about managing cyber risks as they witness the financial and reputational impacts that breaches entail."

 Not all data breaches had a financial cost though. The survey revealed about a third of incidents had a financial impact, with only one in ten leading to severe damages. However, three quarters of respondents said they suffered reputational damage.

Three quarters of British business leaders also said they were more confident in their own security abilities – with half saying they feel a little bit more confident, and 29% saying they felt a lot more confident – while nine out of ten business leaders surveyed reported they planned to increase their security budgets in the coming year.

"As the cyber defence sector continues to mature, businesses are becoming more aware of the tools at their disposal and the tactics they can use to combat cyberattacks," said McElroy. "We believe this growing confidence is indicative of a power shift in favour of defenders, who are taking a more proactive approach to hunting out and neutralising threats than previously."

He pointed to the use of proactive threat hunting to stop attacks before they start, with 75% of companies saying they'd spotted attack activity using such techniques that likely would have gone unnoticed previously.

Custom malware is the most frequent form of attack, though Carbon Black also reported a rise in phishing attacks against companies – and they're the vector that causes the highest number of successful breaches, according to the survey. Carbon Black said that phishing trend suggests hackers are still targeting users as the weakest link.

That makes it no surprise that a quarter of CIOs would like a bigger team to battle the security threat, but it could prove a challenge with more than half of companies surveyed saying that recruiting and training specialist security staff is harder this year than last.

Uber's London licence extended by just two months

TfL want more details from the taxi-hailing firm before any future decision is made

Transport for London has announced it will only grant Uber a two-month private hire operator licence instead of the five-year licence the company sought.

The two-month licence comes with "new conditions to ensure passenger safety" as TfL said it wanted more details from Uber.
Last year, the chief magistrate issued a 15-moth private hire licence to Uber, which is due to end on 25 September at 23:59.
Within its two-month licence, TfL will consider any future licensing decision based on additional information Uber provides.

"Uber London Limited has been granted a two-month private hire operator licence to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application," a TfL spokesperson said.

The root of the issue goes back to 2017 when TfL originally denied a licence renewal for Uber. The capital's transport organisation posted a statement on Twitter stating that Uber was "not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence".

TfL said that Uber's approach and conduct "demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility" and listed four other areas of fault, including Uber's failure to report serious criminal offences, its approach to medical certificates and its approach to how DBS checks are obtained.
The impasse was eventually broken in court when the chief magistrate granted Uber a 15-month licence but ordered a number of extra conditions to be attached. Uber was required to produce independently verified reports every six months, add three non-executive members to its board and to maintain arrangements with the Met Police for the reporting of passenger complaints.
These conditions will remain for the new two-month licence, but there will be additional conditions covering ride-sharing, appropriate insurance and driver document checks by Uber.

 

RANSOMWARE – THE THREAT INSIDE

When it comes to ransomware, it only takes one person to let the marauders run free 

That's the assessment of cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, which has found as many as one third of small-to-medium-sized businesses were hit by ransomware last year, and that "the human factor" is increasingly behind large-scale outages. The findings come as part of Malwarebytes' Second Annual State of Ransomware Report, which showed that, of the 32 percent of companies hit by at least one malware attack last year, one fifth had to completely stop operations immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (unless you're coughing it up in Bitcoin). The figures paint a grim picture of digital security in the modern era, at a time when malware attacks routinely make news headlines, and ransomware (malicious software that infects systems and demands a ransom to regain access to encrypted files) has the power to bring everyth 

FIRMS THAT DIDN’T PATCH CONTINUE TO SUFFER POST CYBER-ATTACK

Just because a malware outbreak has begun to fade away from the newspaper headlines, doesn’t mean your troubles are over. Many firms can continue to suffer long afterwards. Here’s a salutary reminder for all businesses, my thanks to Graham Cluley.

Just because a malware outbreak has begun to fade away from the newspaper headlines, doesn’t mean your troubles are over. Many firms can continue to suffer long afterwards. In late June, a malware attack crippled businesses and critical infrastructure in Ukraine at astonishing speed. Initially suspected of being a similar ransomware attack to the WannaCry outbreak seen the month before, the malware (variously named as Petya, NotPetya or GoldenEye by security vendors) appears to have been launched through a malicious automatic update to a popular Ukrainian accounting software tool called MeDoc. We tell companies all the time to keep their software updated with the latest available patches, and yet here was an update which actually delivered a devastating malware attack. The irony isn’t lost on anybody. Once in place on an infected PC, the malware would spread to other networked computers, using a variety of lateral movement techniques. And it didn’t take long for GoldenEye to spread beyond Ukraine’s borders, hitting the of offices of multinational companies in the United States, UK, Russia, France, Germany and elsewhere.

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