April 20, 2024
Business Cybersecurity

2024 Thales Data Threat Report: Cyber Threats Are Escalating

Ransomware Attacks Up 22% In 2023

The newly unveiled 2024 Thales Data Threat Report exposes a worrying escalation in cyber threats, underscoring the urgent need for robust data security measures.

The report comprehensively analyses evolving security practices and their implications for businesses worldwide.

Based on insights from 3,000 IT and security professionals across 18 countries and 37 industries, the comprehensive report reveals a stark reality: 93% of respondents believe security threats are intensifying, a marked increase from 47% the previous year.

Ransomware Attacks On The Rise

The report reveals a staggering 27% surge in ransomware attacks on enterprises in 2023 alone. Shockingly, despite this spike, fewer than half of organisations have a formal ransomware response plan, leaving them vulnerable to extortion tactics.

Alarmingly, 8% of afflicted companies resorted to paying the ransom demands, further perpetuating the cybercrime cycle.

Malware Emerges As A Predominant Threat

Malware has emerged as the fastest-growing threat in 2024, with 41% of enterprises reporting attacks in the past year. Phishing and ransomware incidents are closely followed.

Cloud assets, including SaaS applications and cloud-based storage, remain prime targets for malicious activities, highlighting the critical need for enhanced cloud security measures.

Human Error Continues To Fuel Data Breaches

For the second consecutive year, human error reigns as the leading cause of data breaches, cited by 31% of enterprises surveyed. This underscores the importance of employee education and proactive measures to mitigate the risk of accidental data exposure.

Compliance Failings Exacerbate Vulnerabilities

Alarmingly, over 43% of enterprises failed compliance audits in the past year, with non-compliant companies ten times more likely to experience a data breach.

The report underscores the symbiotic relationship between compliance and data security, emphasising the imperative for stringent adherence to regulatory standards.

Operational Complexity Hinders Data Protection Efforts

The report highlights operational complexity as a significant barrier to adequate data protection, with only a third of organisations able to fully classify their data. Despite a slight decline in the number of critical management systems utilised, operational intricacies persist, necessitating streamlined data management and encryption approaches.

Addressing The Threat Landscape

Senior Vice President of Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing, Sebastien Cano, said, “Enterprises need to know precisely what they are trying to protect. With global data privacy regulations continually changing, they need good visibility across their organisation to stand any chance of staying compliant.

“If there is one key takeaway from this year’s study, compliance is key. Companies with a good hold over their compliance processes and passed all their audits were also less likely to suffer a breach. We will start to see more compliance and security functions coming together. This would be a hugely positive step to strengthen cyber defences and build trust with customers,”  he added.

Embracing Emerging Technologies

While emerging technologies such as AI and IoT present new security challenges, they also offer opportunities for innovation. Many enterprises intend to integrate Generative AI into their security frameworks, signalling a proactive approach to leveraging technology to combat evolving threats.

Looking Ahead

The 2024 Thales Data Threat Report serves as a clarion call for organisations to prioritise data security in an increasingly hostile digital landscape. With cyber threats mounting and compliance failures exacerbating vulnerabilities, proactive measures and strategic investments are imperative to safeguarding critical assets and maintaining consumer trust.

For further insights, a webinar hosted by S&P Global on April 16, 2024, featuring Chief Analyst Eric Hanselman and Research Analyst Justin Lam, promises to delve deeper into the report’s findings.

Thales, a global leader in advanced technologies, fosters innovation and drives positive change across diverse sectors.

Featured image: 8% of afflicted companies resorted to paying ransom demands. Credit: Michael Geiger

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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