Cyber Attacks on Businesses Doubled in 2014: Report

Brandon Dimmel's picture

A new report suggests that hackers took aim at twice as many businesses in 2014 when compared to the previous year.

The report comes from Russian security company Kaspersky Lab; its Global Research and Analysis Team says it detected seven major advanced persistent threats (or APTs) over the past twelve months, resulting in approximately 4,400 attacks targeting private sector organizations in an estimated 55 countries.

Kaspersky researchers say that's more than double the roughly 1,800 corporations targeted by cybercriminals in 2013.

Sophisticated Attacks May Be Supported by National Governments

Overall, Kaspersky says there were an alarming number of sophisticated attacks on businesses during the past year. The company says the rising number of attacks by skilled hackers may be evidence that more national governments are getting involved in cyber espionage.

Kaspersky points to Regin, a sophisticated type of malware recently discovered by security firm Symantec, as an example of an advanced threat designed by professional hackers purportedly supported by a national government.

Kaspersky Lab chief security expert Alex Gostev says the impact of a cyber attack on a business can be massive. If a hack results in the loss of sensitive information (such as valuable intellectual property), it could have a long-term affect on a business' financial stability. A widely-reported hack may also threaten a business' reputation, making it less attractive to potential customers.

"There are tens of scenarios that all end up with the same impact: the loss of influence, reputation and money," Gostev says. (Source:

More ATM Hacks Expected in 2015

Looking ahead to 2015, the Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team sees hackers embracing ATM attacks used to access the 'brain' of automated teller machines that distribute cash. Looking even further ahead, perhaps to 2016, Kaspersky Lab researchers expect hackers to target bank networks in order to manipulate ATMs in real-time, giving cybercriminals control over many cash machines at once.

"Hackers have become capable of carrying out very advanced attacks," notes Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab's founder and chief executive officer. "They infect corporate networks with viruses, which eventually -- via files exchanged between departments -- get into computers that handle money transfers."

Patty Hatter, Intel's chief information officer, says many businesses should simply "assume something is going on and ... start looking for it." "Be paranoid," Hatter added. "It helps." (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Are you alarmed by the growing number of cyber threats facing businesses? What steps have you or our business taken to prevent cyber attacks from being successful? Do you agree with Hatter that "it helps to be paranoid"?

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