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Nearly half of businesses experience cyberattacks

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Forty per cent of individuals and nearly 50 per cent of businesses experienced some form of cyberattack in the past 12 months, according to two surveys conducted between October and November 2022.

The two surveys, administered by the Digital Security Authority (DSA), ran in parallel, with one focusing on the topic of cybersecurity for businesses and the other for the general public. The aim was to assess participants’ handling, importance of, frequency and consequences of cyberattacks. In total, 1025 individuals and 450 businesses were polled.

Nearly half of the surveyed businesses reported they were subjected to an attack/breach in the last 12 months, with an average of three to four attacks per month. Of those attacked, 48 per cent reported, on average, a financial cost of nearly €23,000.

The most frequent form of attack received by businesses was phishing – whereby an attacker sends a fraudulent message in order to trick someone into revealing sensitive information – reported by 36 per cent of participating businesses.

Only 17 per cent of polled businesses reported participating in cybersecurity seminars. Half of the businesses surveyed were unaware that such seminars are available.

As regards individuals, the survey found that 40 per cent have been attacked in the past year – with an average of 20.9 attacks a year.

The most frequent method of attack was email phishing.

The survey revealed that most people, much like businesses, are unaware of the existence of cybersecurity seminars – over 80 per cent professed ignorance.

People that did attend such seminars (9 per cent) reported a better understanding of cyberthreats and how to counter them, including using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently and avoiding suspicious websites.

The DSA, based on the above results, intends to organise educational seminars to enhance knowledge and skills in cybersecurity matters as well as information and awareness campaigns for both individuals and businesses.

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