The Escalating Costs of Cyber Attacks

Dell Technologies’ 2023 Global Data Protection Index uncovered a concerning surge breaches and costs of cyber-attacks, with nearly half of UK organisations falling victim to breaches that disrupted data access. These breaches are becoming so severe that the costs associated with managing these incidents have doubled since 2022.

The report, based on a survey of 1,500 IT and security decision-makers globally, painted a troubling picture of cyber-crime’s escalation. In the UK alone, 48% of organisations experienced cyber-incidents in 2023, with a staggering 87% causing IT disruption. More than half of these attacks originated from phishing emails, malicious links, compromised user credentials, and hacked devices.

The repercussions were severe, with cyber-breaches resulting in an average of 26 hours of unplanned downtime per organization and a substantial 2.45 terabytes of data loss. The average costs of cyber-attacks and handling these breaches also surged from approximately £500,000 per attack in 2022 to over £1 million in 2023.

Generative Artificial Intelligence Impact

Dell’s report highlighted the role of Generative Artificial Intelligence in reshaping organisational systems, especially in cyber-security. Approximately 40% of respondents acknowledged AI’s potential to enhance their organisation’s cyber-security defences. However, concerns were raised, as 87% anticipated the creation of new data volumes necessitating protection. The report suggests that while AI holds promise, it may also present challenges to cyber-security in 2024.

Cyber-Defences and Zero Trust Security

As cyber-attacks evolve in sophistication and financial repercussions increase, the need for secure cyber-defences is more important than ever. Despite this, Dell’s findings indicate that less than 10% of respondents have fully implemented Zero Trust Security—a security model characterised by strict access controls. This gap highlights the journey organisations must undertake to achieve cyber-resilience. Dell also highlighted a degree of over-confidence regarding the aftermath of breaches, with more than half of UK organisations believing that paying a ransom after a ransomware attack would exempt them from future attacks.

Since the release of Dell’s research, organisations are urged to improve cyber-security measures and education for staff.

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