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BT Survey Highlights Cyber-Security Threats

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LONDON -- Disruptive cyber-attacks are becoming more effective at breaching security defences, causing major disruption and even bringing down systems for whole working days, according to a new global study from BT.

The research reveals that 41 per cent of organisations globally were hit by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the past year, with more than three quarters of those (78 per cent) targeted twice or more in the year.

DDoS attacks are seen as a key concern by more than a third of UK organisations (36 per cent). Globally the worry is even greater, with almost twice as many organisations naming the attacks a key concern (58 per cent).v The new study explores the attitudes to and preparedness for DDoS attacks of IT managers from organisations in eleven countries and regions around the world. It reveals that despite the growing concern over the attacks, only about half of UK organisations (49 per cent) have a response plan in place. Less than one in 10 UK decision makers (eight per cent) strongly believe they have sufficient resources in place to counteract an attack.

DDoS attacks can cause major disruption for organisations; they can take down an organisationís website, overwhelm a datacentre or generally cause networks to grind to a halt and become unusable. They are also increasingly becoming more complex and difficult for organisations to fend off.

Nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of those polled agree that DDoS attacks are becoming more effective at subverting their organisationís IT security measures. Attackers are often adopting hybrid, or multi-vector, attack tactics which involve attacks through multiple platforms. These have increased by two fifths (41 per cent) during the past year.

Multi-vector attacks pose increased complexity and risk as they involve multiple attack methods deployed simultaneously. These often require a dedicated mitigation team to track and combat the threat across multiple fronts, as automated systems are less likely to be able to offer adequate protection.

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)

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