3 out of 4 organisations experienced cyber-incident related downtime during festive season: McAfee

81 per cent of global organisations experienced increased cyber threats with 79 per cent experiencing downtime due to a cyber-incident during a peak season, according to McAfee Enterprise and FireEye’s report titled ‘Cybercrime in a Pandemic World: The Impact of COVID-19’

Findings reveal that it is important for organisations to prioritise and strengthen their cybersecurity architecture.

The findings indicate that during the pandemic, ‘Cybercrime in a Pandemic World: The Impact of COVID-19’ survey methodology McAfee Enterprise and FireEye commissioned a global independent market research specialist MSI-ACI to undertake the research for this study.

Between September and October 2021, the quantitative study was carried out, interviewing 1,451 IT and line of business decision makers. Respondents came from the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa and UAE. Respondents had to be an IT business professional, involved in IT security and work for an organisation with more than 500 employees, the organisation said.

Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

As the holiday season approaches, supply chain and logistics, e-commerce and retail, and the travel industry see predictable increases in consumer and business activity making them more vulnerable to cyber threats and leaving business, employee and consumer data at risk, the report added.

“It is imperative that all businesses prioritise security technology to keep them protected, especially during the peak holiday season. Ninety-four percent of IT professionals want their organisation to improve its overall cyber readiness. Businesses must do more and need an intelligent security architecture for managing today’s sophisticated threat landscape,” said Bryan Palma, CEO of the newly combined company.

According to the report, 60 per cent saw an increase in online/web activity, 33 per cent have had their technology and security budgets reduced, 56 per cent have suffered from downtime due to a cyber-concern, costing some over $100,000 USD and 76 per cent find maintaining a fully staffed security team/SOC even more challenging during peak periods.

In addition to increased consumer spending, the holiday season saw a significant impact on industries coping with the increase in consumer demands. 86 per cent of organisations are anticipating a moderate to substantial increase in demand during the 2021 holiday season.

This year, the “everything shortage” is real, from a shortage in workforce to limited supplies to lack of delivery services. This creates an urgency for organisations to have actionable security plans and to effectively contain and respond to threats.

Supply Chain & Logistics

According to BCI’s Supply Chain Resilience Report 2021, 27.8 per cent of organisations reported more than 20 supply chain disruptions during 2020, up from just 4.8 per cent reporting the same number in 2019.

The loss of manufacturing and logistics capacity, and employee-power, paired with increasing demand for goods, has created the perfect attack vector for cybercriminals, a potentially weak and vulnerable infrastructure to break through. Supply chain managers must identify risks, understand the potential downstream effects of a security breach or cyberattack, and prepare response plans so they can act quickly in the event of an incident, the report explained.

According to McAfee Enterprise COVID-19 dashboard, the global retail industry accounts for 5.2 per cent of the total detected cyber threats. Such threats include compromised payment credentials and cloud storage, as well as other forms of retail fraud and theft.

There are ways for organisations to be proactive and actionable against cybercrime, such as implementing security measures and industry-wide cybersecurity requirements, providing cybersecurity awareness training for employees, and developing prevention and response plans.

An investor consortium consisting of six investment firms announced that they were acquiring cyber security firm McAfee for $14 billion.

This consortium led by US private equity firm Advent International will take the cyber security company private, according to reports. The consortium consists of Advent International, Permira Advisers, Crosspoint Capital Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Private Limited and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Advent and Permira led today’s acquisition, according to the company.

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