German companies see threefold rise in cyberattacks, study finds

BERLIN: The number of German companies targeted by cyberattacks in the past three years has tripled compared with the three years to 2015 and the figure is growing steadily, a study showed. 

From the 450 German companies surveyed by the audit and consulting company EY, 44% said they had been spied on. But Bodo Meseke, an expert at EY, said many companies did not notice attacks. 

The study found that 67% of managers at larger enterprises – those with a turnover of more than €1bil (RM4.95bil) – expect a significant increase in the number of attacks on their businesses. 

Managers see the biggest danger coming from Russia, followed by China, and the United States. 

“Recently, the threat increased rapidly again and it comes from different sides. In addition to intelligence services and (business) competitors, organised crime is increasingly becoming an adversary,” Meseke said. 

A separate study by the Allensbach polling institute for Deloitte also published on Thursday showed that 27% of executives in medium and large companies said their businesses were exposed to IT attacks every day. 

Four years ago, 12% suffered daily attacks. 

The Allensbach study, based on interviews with politicians and companies, found that 97% of respondents saw a large-scale hacker attack to be “at least” or “very” probable. 

Three-quarters of those questioned perceive a major cyberattack risk that would target infrastructure facilities such as electricity grids or hospitals and just as many contamination by computer viruses. — Reuters