The State of Cyber Risk in Spain

Monday, November 5, 2018

In Spain, cybersecurity is becoming more of a priority among businesses across all industries. One way to quantify these cybersecurity postures is by looking at Spain’s security ratings across all markets in comparison with Europe. In Spain, Bitsight Security Ratings are on average 119 points below Europe as a whole. The highest performing industry is Real Estate, which has a security rating of 71 security rating points better than the European average. The lowest performing industries are Financial Services and Insurance, which are more than 200 security rating points lower than the average European rating. Given the sensitive data financial services companies possess, this report suggests there is a need for additional investment in cybersecurity and cyber risk management. As companies invest in digital transformation programs, their exposure to risk increases and requires an increased investment in risk management across their organization.

BitSight researchers examined how Spanish companies performed in certain risk vectors: they found that on average, Spanish companies perform 16% worse in the compromised systems risk vector when compared with European countries as a whole. The biggest contributor to this is botnet infections. Additionally, on average Spanish companies perform 16% worse than European companies in the web application headers risk vector. Finally, Spanish companies rank much better on SPF domains— on average, they perform 21% better than the European average.

Our data shows that the most common infections are spread across all industries, there is no single industry that is consistently affected by infections more than others. Essentially, all industries are at risk; malicious actors do not discriminate.

The most common infection across all industries in Spain is Uupay, found predominantly on mobile devices— which are becoming a more frequent target of attack. This also shows that companies should be investing in solutions to protect their mobile platforms. Oftentimes, the mobile platform is not considered a priority for companies to invest in, and given the increase of “Bring Your Own Device” policies at many companies, it is even more difficult to implement.

Three out of the top ten infections in Spain were discovered and documented many years ago: Sality in 2003, Conficker in 2008, and Gamarue in 2011. Because of slight modifications to the original infection and because it is now easy to go on the Dark Web and purchase this software, these infections continue to thrive. Thus, it’s critical that organizations implement continuous monitoring of their internal security posture as well as that of their third parties. Security ratings and continuous monitoring allow you to immediately identify if an infection is present in your infrastructure and work towards remediation quickly and efficiently.

When examining the time to resolve infections, 59% of industries in Spain are slower than the European average in resolving an infection. On average, companies in these industries take 1.46 days more to resolve an infection.

This is a critical metric, since the longer an infection remains in your network (and potentially undetected), the more likely it is it will spread and cause more damage. If an infection stays active long enough, this will put the network of a company at greater risk. Malware like ransomware, which encrypts data on a device and demands a ransom to provide a key to unencrypt it, will have a much bigger impact if a large number of devices are impacted. Time is of the essence when it comes to remediating infections— the faster they are resolved, the lower the overall risk to the business’ bottom line.

About this Report:
The information in this report is based on BitSight's original research with the collaboration of ElevenPaths product team. BitSight researchers took the 100 largest Spanish companies across all industries and compared them with all European companies. The data used was from September 2017- September 2018.


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