Russian businesses are forecast to lose almost US$ 1 bn (70 billion rubles £662 million) from cyber-attacks this year and this figure is expected to continue to grow in the near future, Lev Khasis, first deputy chairman of Sberbank, Russia's largest state-owned bank, and a former vice-president of Wal-Mart, told SCMagazineUK.com.
These predictions are in line with those of leading Russian IT security experts. According to data from Kaspersky Lab, this year every second corporate computer in Russia was the subject of at least one cyber- attack, which is significantly higher than average global figures.
Yuri Namestnikov, an anti-virus expert at Kaspersky Lab told SC that in recent years corporate users have become the weakest link in the IT security chain of each company, while the only way to strengthen this link is to pay more attention of staff to the issues of IT security.
Namestnikov add hackers have recently changed their strategy, and the majority now prefer to carefully select tools to conduct their attacks on businesses, often entering networks via what appear to be legitimate programs. Namestnikov comments: "Our experience shows that malicious files, sent by cyber-criminals with the aim of infecting corporate networks, are often signed with digital certificates of well-known vendors, such as Microsoft Office. It is noteworthy that criminals prefer to use known vulnerabilities, because they know that the installation of updates in many organisations and companies comes very late."
According to Namestnikov, cyber-criminals will be able to significantly "enhance the quality of their cyberattacks" in the future, posing additional threats to businesses.
According to predictions by Kaspersky Lab analysts, in 2016 hackers will primarily focus on attacks on corporate servers and data centres, with the aim of getting control for the most valuable data for business.
Eugene Kaspersky, head of Kaspersky Lab, told SC that the current situation is aggravated by the poor IT security of mobile applications. He added that his company received about 300,000 samples of new malware daily, 10,000-15,000 of which are designed for the Android platform. However, the amount of malware targeting iOS currently remains significantly lower.