Telia Carrier Research Reveals Pandemic Resulted in Spike of Security Incidents

According to a new survey from Telia Carrier, almost half (45 percent) of business leaders say their company has experienced more network security incidents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research, entitled Enterprise Network Security 2021: A Post-Pandemic Threat Landscape Report” was conducted in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. It provides insights into current corporate security concerns at the top of business.

Geographically, 55 percent of U.S. and 49 percent of U.K. respondents have experienced the most severe impact to their network security due to these attacks.

A sizeable 68 percent of leaders said their company has experienced a DDoS attack in the last 12 months with the U.K. at 76 percent and the U.S. at 73 percent. The rate is significantly higher compared to 59 percent of their German and 56 percent of their French counterparts. Additionally, more than half of the leaders who participated in the survey confirmed they specifically experienced a DDoS ransom or extortion attack in that time, with 65 percent targeted at U.K. companies, compared with the relatively low 38 percent in France.

COVID-19 has had an impact on the sense of vulnerability among business leaders, with 51 percent of them feeling more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since the pandemic.

The impact of these DDoS attacks has been dramatic for some, with 11 percent of respondents saying that such an attack has posed a threat so serious that it could have undermined business continuity. A further 40 percent said such an attack had a major impact, resulting in significant disruption and loss of business revenues. The countries most severely impacted were the U.K. (43 percent) followed closely by the U.S. (39 percent), with the financial service and IT service sectors suffering the most.

Startlingly, 78 percent of leaders revealed they responded to up to 100 network security incidents in the last 12 months. Once again, the figures were highest in the U.K. and U.S.

As for the nature of the cyber threats faced, it is no surprise to find that phishing (where victims are contacted by fraudsters via phone, email or text message and lured into divulging sensitive information) is regarded by many leaders (56 percent) as the main cyber threat to their business. What is more telling, perhaps, is the fact that almost as many (49 percent) view DDoS attacks at the same level.

To counteract the network security threats, nearly half (45 percent) of leaders mitigate DDoS attacks by using ISP/network provider DDoS protection. A significant number have their own in-house mitigation/scrubbing capabilities (34 percent). Cloud-based solutions are utilized by less than a fifth, while a small but worrying three in 100 businesses don’t mitigate at all.

When asked about their familiarity with network service providers’ DDoS protection services, more than half (53 percent) of respondents said that they do not consider themselves to be familiar with the DDoS protection services offered by network service providers. Leaders in the U.S. displayed the highest level of familiarity, while those in France had the lowest.