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Cyber breaches continue significant rise on SMBs

For the third straight year, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have reported a significant increase in targeted cyber breaches, according to a new global survey conducted by research organization The Ponemon Institute and commissioned by security company Keeper Security.

Ponemon surveyed 2,391 IT and IT security practitioners worldwide, and found that attacks against U.S., U.K. and European businesses are growing in both frequency and sophistication. Nearly half of the respondents (45 percent) described their organization's IT posture as ineffective, with 39 percent reporting they have no incident response plan in place.

"Cyber criminals are continuing to evolve their attacks with more sophisticated tactics, and companies of all sizes are in their crosshairs," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute.

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The report demonstrates that cyber attacks are a global phenomenon, as is the lack of awareness and preparedness by businesses, Ponemon said. “Every organization, no matter where they are, no matter their size, must make cyber security a top priority," he said.

About three quarters of U.S. companies surveyed (76 percent) were attacked within the last 12 months, up from 55 percent in 2016. Globally, 66 percent of respondents reported attacks in the same timeframe.

Attacks that rely on deception are rising, the report said. Overall, they are becoming more sophisticated, with phishing (57 percent), compromised or stolen devices (33 percent) and credential theft (30 percent) among the most common attacks waged against SMBs globally.

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