Research has revealed that a significant number of businesses would consider using cryptocurrencies for business transactions, despite the concern over the technology.
The research from Neustar International Security Council (NISC) revealed that 80% of organisations have an interest in using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, for transactions. However, 80% of respondents admitted they were aware of the increased risk of DDoS attacks it could bring.
Despite the concerns that have been brought to light by the Government and industry experts, just under half (48%) of respondents thought the use of cryptocurrency could be a way to generate income through increased value. Although the favouring of the alternative currency was high, 26% of businesses did admit there was a great risk to business by currencies being used as a form of ransom.
The fear of cryptocurrencies has somewhat had a positive impact, as more businesses make efforts to put more security measures in place. Businesses have said they are focusing on increasing their ability to respond to DDoS (41%), ransomware (40%) and targeted hacking (39%).
Rodney Joffe, Head of NISC and Neustar Senior Vice President and Fellow, said: “Ransomware and DDoS attacks continue to be seen as the leading threat to companies due to the sheer volume, complexity and potential severity of an attack. That said, not too far behind as the second greatest concern to businesses moving forward is financial threat.”
The research findings also calculated a Cyber Benchmark Index, which measures the level of concern there is within the NISC community. Based on recent data, the figure has reached 10.5, a significant increase from the rating in May last year of 6.5.
Since December, DDoS has been seen as the largest concern to businesses with 22% agreeing. Financial and ransomware concerns follow closely behind. Ransomware was seen as the largest increasing threat to organisations, with a staggering 45% of respondents putting it in the top spot of their concern list for the future.
Respondents also admitted that their ability to respond to DDoS, ransomware and targeted hacking was a main priority as well as 90% agreeing a Web Firewall was an essential component to the security infrastructure.
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“Armed with plenty of tools, such as compromised IoT devices, it’s likely that we’ll see hackers make use of ransomware and DDoS attacks to cause major distractions. At the same time, we’ll likely see them put a focus on stealing large amounts of financial data, which may include traditional currencies, or the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies – such as Bitcoin. By developing a more cohesive security strategy, organisations can hone in on their most vulnerable data, processes and models, protecting their critical information in the short and long term,” Joffe said.
As the number of devices and technology increases, the fear of hackers attacking businesses has increased and made organisations more vigilant to cyber security methods. Various initiatives have been set up, by both the Government and the industry. The Treasury Committee held an inquiry to assess the impact of cryptocurrencies, whilst the World Economic Forum boosted efforts to protect the industry with a new cybersecurity consortium.