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Last year, 66% of businesses in Belgian were the victim of at least one form of cyber-criminality. The damage and costs remain limited for most companies, but a small minority was hit harder, according to research from the Leuven Institute of Criminology, which interviewed 300 companies from across the country.

Half of the companies signalled security breaches in their ICT systems, without data being stolen or damaged. Some 46% experienced cyber-attacks that led to an ICT malfunction.

The survey also showed that nearly one-quarter of the companies surveyed had to deal with cyber-extortion and ransom malware, 13% with banking fraud and 4% with corporate espionage. About 40% reported that they experienced multiple security breaches, and nearly one-third had to solve repeated incidents that caused malfunctions in their ICT systems. When faced with a ransom situation, 94% did not pay the money demanded.

About 9% of the companies affected by cyber-extortion reported damage worth more than €10,000, and 3% reported a loss of turnover of more than €50,000. About one-fifth of the companies reported that their daily work structure was significantly troubled.

The study is part of a large-scale research project funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office.

Photo: Ingimage

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