Hackers ‘can bypass cyber security defences within 12 hours’

Nearly nine in ten hackers say they can break through any cyber security defences they target within 12 hours of launching an attack, according to a new report.

Research by Nuix found that 88 per cent of attackers were confident they could bypass protections on systems they turn their attention to in half a day.  81 per cent of the professional hackers and penetration testers surveyed at DEFCON said they could identify and take valuable data from their target system within another 12 hours.

But the damage could be even greater for companies targeted by attackers, as most breaches stay undiscovered for hundreds of days, giving cyber criminals plenty of opportunity.

“Data breaches take an average of 250 to 300 days to detect – if they’re detected at all,” said Chris Pogue, chief information security officer at Nuix. “But most attackers tell us they can break in and steal the target data within 24 hours. Organisations need to get much better at detecting and remediating breaches using a combination of people and technology.”

According to the report, hackers are almost never slowed down by measures like firewalls and anti-virus solutions, but endpoint security technologies presented more of an obstacle.  This is because more than half of those questioned change their methods with every target, meaning defences based on known files and attacks are less effective.

A third of the hackers surveyed said organisations never detected their activities.

These findings come just a few months after another report found that half of IT professionals are more concerned about insider threats than external hackers.  73 per cent said they were most concerned about malware installed by careless employees, while 66 per cent were worried about stolen or compromised credentials and 65 per cent were concerned about stolen data.

For more from the report, see the Nuix website.

Photo copyright DragonImages under licence from