Press release: Disruptive cyber attacks a growing concern for US organizations, BT survey reveals

DC14-274 (30 June 2014)

One-in-five organizations have had their systems taken down for an entire working day

Disruptive cyber-attacks are becoming more effective at breaching security defenses, causing major disruption and sometimes bringing down organizations for whole working days, according to a new global study from BT.

The research reveals that 41 percent of organizations globally were hit by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the past year, with three quarters of those (78 percent) targeted twice or more in the year.

DDoS attacks are seen as a key concern by more than three-quarters of US organizations (78 percent). This is higher even than the global average (58 percent).

The new study explores attitudes to and preparedness for DDoS attacks of IT managers from organizations in eleven countries and regions around the world. It reveals that while most US organizations (72 percent) have a response plan in place should a DDoS attack occur, only a quarter are convinced that they have sufficient resources in place to counteract an attack (26 percent).

DDoS attacks can cause major disruption for organizations; they can take down an organization’s website, overwhelm a datacenter or generally cause networks to grind to a halt and become unusable. They are also increasingly becoming more complex and difficult for organizations to fend off.

Almost six in ten (59 percent) of those polled agree that DDoS attacks are becoming more effective at subverting their organization’s IT security measures. Attackers are often adopting hybrid, or multi-vector, attack tactics which involve attacks through multiple platforms. These have increased by two-fifths (41 percent) during the past year.

Multi-vector attacks pose increased complexity and risk as they involve multiple attack methods deployed simultaneously. These often require a dedicated mitigation team to track and combat the threat across multiple fronts, as automated systems are less likely to be able to offer adequate protection.

Unsurprisingly, organizations see an increase in customer complaints when their network systems go down after a DDoS attack. Respondents said customer complaints and queries jumped by an average of 36 percent.

The impact that DDoS attacks can have on organizations is felt in the length of time it has taken organizations to recover from their most severe attack. On average, organizations take 12 hours to fully recover from an especially powerful attack – longer than an entire working day. In the US, more than two-thirds of IT decision makers (69 percent) admit that DDoS attacks have bought down their systems for more than six hours – almost a full working day.

Mark Hughes adds: “The most efficient way to protect against the attack is raising awareness among employees and partnering with a trusted and capable supplier. At BT, we are working with leading global organizations to help them mitigate risks and put in place proactive defenses. It is only when security is optimized that organizations are able to harness the possibilities of today’s connected world.”

BannerDDoS attacks have evolved significantly in the last few years and are now a legitimate business concern. They can have a damaging effect on revenues and send an organization into full crisis mode. Reputations, revenue and customer confidence are on the line following a DDoS attack. Finance, e-commerce companies and retailers in particular suffer when their websites or businesses are targeted.”
- Mark Hughes, president of BT Security

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

BT Security

BT Security is building on 70 years’ experience of helping organizations around the globe and across all sectors get ahead of the threat curve and reduce the uncertainty and complexity of security. We provide an end-to-end capability to help organizations enjoy higher levels of security at a time when security budgets are not keeping pace with the threat landscape.

The sophistication of our security operations means that we think about the assets, the people, and the processes, and combine these with both network and security intelligence to help our customers stay ahead of the security risks. BT Security protects both BT and its customers. These customers are advised by a global team of 1,300 security practitioners, 600 global security specialists and a professional services team of approximately 4,000.

The BT Security Assure portfolio covers:

  • Assure Managed Firewall
  • Assure Web Security
  • Assure Intrusion Prevention
  • Assure Message Scan
  • Assure Denial of Service Mitigation
  • Assure Cyber
  • Assure Managed Cloud
  • Assure Threat Monitoring
  • Assure Vulnerability Scanning

To find out more about BT Security, visit

About the research

This research was undertaken by Vanson Bourne for BT in May 2014. 640 interviews were carried out with IT decision makers in medium to large sized organizations (1000+ employees) across eleven countries and regions – UK, France, Germany, USA, Spain, Brazil, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and Australia – and in a range of sectors including finance, retail and public sector.

For further information:

Elena Papayorgioglu 
PR & Corporate Relations 
Tel: +90 216 542 7713 / Mob.: +90 530 479 72 85 



BT DDoS Research Summary

PDF - 234 KB

This research explores attitudes and levels of preparedness of towards DDoS attacks.