Biggest fears of EMEA companies? Malware ranks first


Can you guess the most pressing IT security issue faced by companies in Europe?

If you were to put your money on malware infection, you’d be right. According to a series of surveys conducted by ESET at various EMEA security events throughout 2015, 58% of businesses have experienced this kind of incident in the last year.

Their real world experience corresponds with the theoretical concerns the same respondents express, as malware infection was their most frequently mentioned worry (53%).

This was followed by other forms of cyberattacks, such as social engineering, scams, fraud or phishing (48%) and vulnerabilities in software and systems (39%).

On the other hand, the responses show that companies are putting considerable effort into mitigating cybersecurity risks by applying a wide range of protective systems. More than 98% state that they have implemented at least one of nine monitored IT security solutions, with antivirus, firewall and backups being the most common.

What comes as something of a surprise is the fact that most of the polled firms don’t use mobile security solutions. Only about one fifth (21%) report having installed one on their devices.

In combination with aggressive new malware that specifically targets mobile devices, and strong adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) policies across the region – as many as 44% of the firms polled allow their employees to use them – this can pose a significant risk, and one that frequently goes unaddressed.

Another interesting finding from the ESET surveys is that only 38% of all EMEA respondents consider their company’s budget for cybersecurity to be sufficient, leaving a lot of room for improvement. However, those surveyed have a clear idea of how they would put any extra money to work.

The largest chunk would provide more cybersecurity training for employees (25%), followed by those who would invest the extra money into security audits (19%). A smaller proportion of respondents would invest in more advanced security solutions, such as file encryption (15%) or two-factor authentication (15%).

For more information on business security in EMEA, you can read the whole ESET Business Surveys 2015 paper.

ESET collected data from 1,700 attendees of security forums in 10 EMEA countries (UK, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Greece, Netherlands, Nigeria and Ghana) and one broader region (Middle East) during the course of 2015.

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