More than two in five businesses hit by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks believe their competitors were behind the incidents, according to a new report.
Research by Kaspersky Lab found that 43 per cent of firms that have been hit by such attacks believe their rivals were to blame for the outages to their websites and other systems.
Only 38 per cent thought cyber criminals were the likely culprits, while 20 per cent blamed foreign governments and secret services and 21 per cent pointed the finger at disgruntled former employees.
The proportion of businesses suspicious that their competitors were launching DDoS attacks was as high as 56 per cent in the Asia Pacific region, where 33 per cent also suspected former staff. In western Europe, firms were more trusting of their rivals, with just 37 per cent believing they were involved and 17 per cent blaming foreign governments.
The report also found that smaller businesses were more likely to think competitors were behind the attacks, with 48 per cent of small- and medium-sized businesses citing this as a possibility compared to 36 per cent of their enterprise counterparts.
“It is clear that businesses feel their IT systems and private data are under siege from all sides,” said Kirill Ilganaev, head of DDoS protection at Kaspersky Lab.
“With DDoS attacks becoming so frequent and so crippling, many suspect their competitors are behind them, as they look for ways to put their rivals out of action and steal their customers as a result. With such underhand tactics only increasing, it is imperative that businesses up their game to stay protected and impenetrable to attack.”
Cyber security experts have previously warned that DDoS attacks are increasingly being used as a diversion tactic to occupy firms’ security teams while attackers launch wider offensives.
Photo copyright Vladimir Timofeev under licence from thinkstockphotos.co.uk