Study Finds 35% of Businesses Don’t Know If They’ve Been Hacked

Businesses are increasing their security budgets and seeing better results. But a third of them are still in the dark.

Is hacking a problem for businesses? A full third of them can’t even answer that, according to a new study.

Researchers at Nozomi Networks have determined that 35% of businesses do not know whether their online security precautions have been compromised. That’s a little unsettling, given that you can’t patch a bug until you understand what it is and how it is being exploited.

But there’s good news, too: That statistic has dropped. Last year, nearly half of all businesses (48%) knew if they’d been hacked.

Is your own operation secure? Here’s what the latest cybersecurity research can tell us.

24% of Businesses Are Confident They Weren’t Hacked This Year

Nearly a quarter of businesses (24%) are sure they weren’t hacked, at least this year. That stat has doubled since the previous year’s study, which is another sign that things are on the right track: Businesses are becoming more aware of past security breaches and the possibility of future ones.

Other findings from the team at Nozomi Networks include a drop in the number of businesses who say they have had a data breach in the last 12 months. This year, the amount is 10.5%, down from 15%.

Beware of Cyberattacks at Workstations

On big problem that actually is on the rise? Where the security threats find a way in. 35% of the time, the initial infection vector for a breach in 2022 was the tech workstation, a huge jump up from 18.4% the previous year.

Workers will need to remain alert at workstations to avoid becoming ground zero for the next breach — likely through a phishing attempt, which the FBI has warned is the most common cyber threat.

Budgets Are Higher for Online Security

So why are businesses getting better at understanding cybersecurity? One potential answer is that they’ve realized they need to put more money into the concept.

Exactly two thirds of respondents to the study (66%) said that their security budget has increased over the last two years.

Plus, 69% say that they can now contain a security issue within 24 hours of detection.

Staying Safe Online

Businesses may finally be seeing the cybersecurity light. It wasn’t too long ago that we reported that less than half of large businesses saw the issue as major one to invest in.

As deputy editor Jack Turner put it at the time:

“83% of large businesses see security as a significant threat to their business growth. Yet, only 43% of large businesses consider security a top three tech budget priority to invest in.”

Perhaps that’s changing, as the threat of phishing and ransomware attacks remains strong and even growing. The right security measures can go a long way, from simple fixes like password managers and VPNs to more sweeping software solutions like remote access software.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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