Cyberattacks are on the rise, in part because the leaders of large companies are not willing to share their corporate history of such attacks, the Independent reported Wednesday, citing a study from technology and consulting firm IBM.
The report comes as organized hacking crime groups have usurped individual hackers as the main source of cyberattacks.
“Cybercriminals are a lot more professional than people realize,” Martin Borrett of IBM Security Europe told the Independent, adding, “They are clever. They are sharing these bits of malicious codes with each other, refining them and reissuing them in a very collaborative way.”
The report showed that while more than 50 percent of managers agreed on the need to collaborate on cybercrime, less than a third were willing to share their companies’ incidents of cybercrime externally. Around 80 percent of all cybercrime is committed by groups, not individuals, the study found, and collaboration between companies may help localize and target these groups.
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The Department of Justice's Office of the United States Attorneys has called cybercrime "one of the greatest threats facing our country," warning that it has "enormous implications for our national security, economic prosperity, and public safety." As warfare has moved from the battlefield to online, individuals, large companies and governments are all vulnerable to malware and hacking.
Even small businesses are susceptible to security breaches, according to a Guardian report earlier this month. Nearly 75 percent of small businesses in the U.K. saw a security breach in 2015, according to a British government report, and indeed many smaller companies were becoming the preferred target for cybercriminals because they tend to have fewer protections in place.
“By their very nature, thriving small businesses are innovative and niche, which again is very attractive to the bad guys who may be interested in customer data and intellectual property and know exactly how to pick out the weak targets,” cybersecurity expert Sarah Green told the Guardian.