25 Percent of Israeli Businesses Face Constant Hacks, Study Shows

A Palestinian youth wearing one of the masks used by computer hackers who attacked a number of Israeli websites. (Sliman Khader/Flash90)

A quarter of all businesses in Israel with an online presence are subject to ongoing cyberattacks, a poll by security firm Konfidas and management firm Deloitte says. The poll said that over the past three years, attacks have become common enough that 25 percent of respondents said that they faced daily attacks that required defending against. A total of 150 companies, a representative sample of businesses in Israel with an online presence, participated in the survey.

No sector is safe from attack, the survey shows. A quarter of financial service institutions face regular attack, as do 21 percent of high-tech firms. Even 4 percent of critical infrastructure firms face daily attacks. In previous interviews, officials of the Israel Electric Corporation said that at times of international tension, they faced as many as a million attacks a day; during “normal” times, that number could be as low as “only” 100,000.

Attackers didn’t care if their potential victims were large or small, the survey showed. 31 percent of organizations with 2,000 or more employees faced regular attacks, as did 19 percent of businesses with 501 to 2,000 employees. 20 percent of smaller businesses faced regular attacks as well.

70 percent of managers said that they were proactively improving their defenses, a rise of 3 percent over a similar survey in 2015. Ram Levi, CEO of Konfidas, said that “the question is not if an organization will be attacked, but when. It’s important to increase security and the ability to respond and recover, and especially in departments that do not appear to be connected directly to technology,” as that is where many attacks begin.