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Cyber attacks grow more severe, frequent, say IT practitioners

A staggering 90% of respondents said that they had experienced at least one cyber attack over the past 12 months, according to the survey of 583 IT practitioners sponsored by Juniper Networks.

Reflecting the increasing severity of the attacks, 41% said that cyber attacks cost their business at least a half million dollars in terms of cash outlays, business disruption, revenue losses, internal labor, overhead, and other expenses. A majority of respondents said that the most severe consequence of a cyber breach was theft of information, followed by business disruption.

"The size and complexity of today's security threats continue to intensify, leaving organizations and governments vulnerable to cyber attacks. Business leaders need to consider a more aggressive, systemic security approach – implementing end-to-end comprehensive protection at all points in the network to help mitigate risk”, said Mark Bauhaus general manager of Juniper Networks' Device and Network Services business group.

A disturbing 89% of respondents did not know the source of their network security breaches. Almost half cited complexity as one of their biggest challenges to implementing network security products – with the same percentage of respondents saying it was due to resource constraints.

"Our survey research provides evidence that many organizations are ill-equipped to prevent cyber attacks against networks and enterprise systems. This study suggests conventional network security methods need to improve in order to curtail internal and external threats”, said Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute.

Employee mobile devices and laptops are seen as the most likely endpoint from which serious cyber attacks are unleashed against a company. The top two endpoints from which these breaches occurred are employees' laptop computers with 34%, and employees' mobile devices with 29%, the survey found.

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