86% of organizations expect a cyber attack in the next 12 months

Hand hovering over laptop with padlock graphic superimposed

According to a new report, 80% of organizations worldwide think they will experience a data breach impacting customer data in the next 12 months.

The findings come from Trend Micro’s biannual Cyber Risk Index (CRI) report, which surveyed over 3,600 businesses of all sizes and industries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

The report indicated 86% of the companies surveyed said it was "somewhat to very likely" they’d suffer serious cyber attacks in the next 12 months — a 3 percentage point increase relative to the previous report. The survey also found that 24% suffered seven or more cyber attacks that infiltrated networks and systems, versus 23% in the previous report.

Over one in five (21%) had seven or more information asset breaches, versus 19% in the previous report. Of those surveyed, 20% said they suffered over seven customer data breaches over the past year, up from 17% in the last report.

The report also calculated an index to give organizations an idea of the present level of risk facing them. The CRI is based on a numerical scale of -10 to 10 — -10 represents the highest risk level. The current global index stands at -0.42, a slight increase compared to last year.

The report found the US’s risk was the highest at -1.07 and Europe was the next highest risk region at -0.13. Asia Pacific had the lowest risk at -0.02), but all regions are at an “elevated risk” level.

According to the survey, the top three data types at the highest risk of loss or theft were financial information, companies’ confidential information, and consumer data, each of which could dramatically affect the health of an organization.


X-Force Threat Intelligence Index

Top security threats and recommendations for resilience


The report found the top security risks to infrastructure remained the same as last year, including organizational misalignment and complexity, and cloud computing infrastructure and providers. In addition, respondents identified customer turnover, lost intellectual property, and disruption or damages to critical infrastructure as key operational risks for organizations worldwide.

According to Trend Micro, the main challenges for cyber security preparedness include limitations for security leaders who lack the authority and resources to achieve a strong security posture, and organizations struggling to enable security technologies sufficient to protect their data assets and IT infrastructure.

Larry Ponemon, CEO for the Ponemon Institute, said businesses can use this resource to prioritize their security strategy and focus their resources to best manage their cyber risk.

“This type of resource is increasingly useful as harmful security incidents continue to be a challenge for businesses of all sizes and industries,” he added.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.