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EfficientIP has published its latest report on cyber security in the global telecoms industry. The report states that telecoms organizations face the most DNS-based attacks, and each attack costs companies an average of £460,000 to remediate.

The findings from new EfficientIP research on the global telecoms industry shows how much access into DNS Server is valued by cyber criminals. A successful cyber breach on a telecoms organization could lead to a loss of revenue for businesses due to slower Internet connections and no landline telephone services. The research found three key themes:

Global and industry-specific trends on DNS attacks

  • DNS-based attacks cost organizations globally £1.7 million on average every year across several industries.
  • 76 percent of all organizations globally were subjected to a DNS attack in the past twelve months, and 28 percent suffered data theft.
  • 42 percent of all respondents in the UK spent an entire business day (six hours) to restore their systems.
  • Top five security threats for telecoms organizations are: DDoS (42 percent), Malware (36 percent), DNS Tunnelling (31 percent), Cache Poisoning (28 percent) and Zero-Day Exploits (20 percent).

Telecoms targeted most by DNS attacks and pay the most to fix cyber breaches

  • Telecoms have suffered more attacks than any other surveyed. Telecoms organizations admitted to having faced four attacks on average over the last twelve months.
  • The average cost to fix a single attack is £460,000 in the telecoms sector, highest in the survey. To put that into perspective, the average cost for the healthcare sector is £210,000. Furthermore, 5 percent of telecoms organizations surveyed admitted an attack cost them more than £3.75 million.
  • A quarter of telecoms organisations (25 percent) admitted they have lost sensitive customer information as a result of a DNS attack. This is higher than any other sector surveyed.
  • For 42 percent of telecoms companies surveyed, attacks resulted in in-house application downtime, which causes poor customer experience online. This number is the highest in the survey, tied with education (42 percent) and services (42 percent), followed closely by manufacturing (39 percent) and retail (37 percent), the lowest number going to the public sector (28 percent).

Telecom companies unprepared and slow to fix DNS cyber attacks

  • As recent cyber attacks showed how crucial patching was to avoid easy exploits, telecoms have only applied an average of four patches out of the 11 critical patches recommended by ISC in 2016.  
  • It took longer for telecoms organizations to mitigate the attack. 40 percent of telecoms organizations admitted it took them six hours (almost a full working day) to mitigate a DNS attack. In contrast, over half of retailers only took one hour to fix the issue.

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