Italian companies and security: the biggest fear is cyberespionage

A Trend Micro research has analyzed attack data from the last year: more than 79% of Italian companies were hit by hackers

Given recent news events, it's not surprising that companies in Italy fear cyberespionage and hackers more than anything else. A research by IT security experts Trend Micro brought this fact to light. This showed that in 2016 alone, 79% of companies experienced a hacker attack.

Trend Micro surveyed more than 2,400 IT decision makers in Europe and the United States to shed light on the current state of cybersecurity. As for Italy, the threats are of various types. In fact, 79% of respondents said they had experienced a major attack in 2016, 25% had experienced more than 11 attacks, and 9% had been attacked more than 25 times. These are among the highest rates of cyber infections in Europe. The prevailing threat in 2016 was ransomware, with 84% of IT managers saying they had been infected at least once and 31% saying they had been hit five or more times.


Second most prevalent threat was phishing (22%). For the coming months, however, according to the research, the biggest fear for companies is not malware but cyberespionage. 36 percent of respondents (highest percentage worldwide) consider cyberespionage to be the most important threat. This is followed by targeted attacks (22%), Business Email Compromise attacks (11%) and ransomware (7%) which seem to be less intimidating than last year.

Cybersecurity Issues

Italian companies surveyed said they try their best to avoid these threats, and have shown that they truly understand what the cyber risks are to a company. That said, however, several companies found obstacles to their cyber protection journey. Such as a lack of real understanding of threats (28%), outdated infrastructure (28%) and lack of innovation from vendors (27%). Since 91% of Italian IT managers are convinced that smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables will increase the level of threats in the future, the main solutions to deal with mobile threats are employee training (for 32% of respondents), software containerization to separate personal and work activities (30%) and mandatory security measures (26%).

Advanced security measures

Advanced security measures fascinate Italian companies. So much so that in this data, Italian companies are second only to French companies. Italian IT managers are attracted to advanced security tools such as machine learning and behavior analysis. Eighty-five percent believe these tools are effective in blocking cyber threats, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) say they already use them, while 88 percent will begin doing so in the next 12 to 18 months. The problem is that on their own, these tools are not enough to stop Net threats. When asked about the security battles to be faced in the coming months, Italian companies responded this way: for 36%, the increasing unpredictability of cyber criminals is the biggest challenge for the future, for 19% it's the lack of understanding of threats, while 26% point to a struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape and increasing complexity of cyber criminal activity.

Global Data

64% of companies on a global scale have experienced a major attack in the past 12 months, and ransomware was the most common threat type, with 69% of respondents saying they had been attacked at least once in the period examined. Also internationally, it is interesting to note that only 10% of companies believe that ransomware will be a threat in 2017. As for the research, companies were specifically heard from in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Switzerland. In Italy, the sample is of 103 decision makers representing organizations operating throughout the territory and in various sectors, in both public and private sectors.