State-backed hacking attacks are a big worry, but most firms don't know what to watch out for

The vast majority of cybersecurity professionals think that the business they work for is a target for nation-state hackers, but only a small fraction think that their organisation can confidently identify if attacks are actually being carried out by hostile states.

According to analysis by cybersecurity company Trellix, half of all organisations think they’ve been the target of a nation-state cyberattack within the past 18 months, while a further 42% think they’ll be subject to one in the future. Fewer than one in 10 businesses believe that they’re not a target for nation-state hackers at all. 

For organisations that have been targeted by nation-state-backed hackers, the most likely suspects identified by cybersecurity staff are Russia and China, along with cyber -criminal mercenaries suspected of working on behalf of governments.  

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) 

North Korea, Iran and western governments are among those that are also suspected of being behind attacks, while some cybersecurity staff concede that it’s just too difficult to tell who is behind campaigns. 

When asked how confident they were that, without help, their organisation could tell the difference between cyberattacks carried out by a nation states and cyberattacks carried out by cyber criminals, just a

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