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Half of Cyprus businesses victims of cyberattacks

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One in two Cypriot businesses have fallen victim to a cyberattack in the past year, and half of them had an average recovery cost of €27,000, according to the Digital Security Authority (DSA).

on Thursday after carrying out two surveys.

The DSA conducted two cybersecurity surveys that found that 49% of businesses experienced some form of attack or breach in the last 12 months, averaging one attack per week.

At the same time, an estimated 53% of individuals with an online presence were also attacked in the past year.

The first DSA cybersecurity survey conducted nationwide in October-December targeted businesses, while the second focused on individuals.

For businesses, the report showed that almost half (49%) suffered at least one attack in the past year. This marks an increase from the previous year’s 3-4 attacks per month to an average of one attack per week.

Additionally, of the businesses that were attacked, nearly half (46%) incurred a financial cost averaging €27,000, reflecting an increase of about €4,000 compared to the previous year.

Phishing attacks, deceptive emails, accounted for the most common form of attacks on businesses, comprising 43% of all incidents, a 7% increase from the previous year.

The study also found that nearly one in four businesses (25%) has not updated or reviewed their cybersecurity policies in over a year to be up to date with technological advancements.

The research unveiled a lack of awareness among businesses regarding available cybersecurity seminars, with 46% unaware of such opportunities, and only 17% participating.

Increased awareness

Those businesses that did participate in seminars showed increased awareness and took actions to enhance their security measures.

The average annual investment by businesses in cybersecurity tools and services was around €11,000.

As for individual citizens, the research revealed that 53% experienced attacks in the past 12 months, averaging 25.9 violations/attacks per year.

Of those who were hacked, 19% had an average cost of €141.

Despite the increase in attacks against individuals, the average cost of these attacks decreased by €177, indicating an increase in awareness amongst citizens.

Phishing remained the most prevalent form of attack on individuals, representing 36% of incidents and showing a 6% increase compared to the previous year.

The study also pointed out that 89% of citizens who did not experience an attack in the last year did not rule out the possibility of falling victim to a malicious attack in the future, showing a 7% increase from the previous year.

Furthermore, 74% of citizens were unaware of available seminars on cybersecurity topics, with only 11% having participated.

Those who attended seminars have made significant changes, such as using stronger passwords, changing passwords frequently, and avoiding suspicious websites.

Both surveys were conducted simultaneously, involving a sample of 1,006 individuals and 444 businesses across various sectors, including manufacturing, trade, and services.