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How Rising Security Threats Are Overwhelming IT Managers

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

IT professionals are unable to cope up with the deluge of new and fast changing security threats, a recent survey has revealed. The survey was commissioned by Trustwave, a Chicago based IT security organization, and was conducted by a third party research firm during the early part of the year. The study polled more than 1,000 IT security decision makers, including Chief Information Officers (CIOs), IT Security Directors/Managers and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs); from diverse business verticals (including financial sector and IT service providers) as well as countries (United States, United Kingdom and Canada) and its results were published in the 2015 edition of Trustwave’s “Security Pressures Report”.

Here are some of the key findings presented in the report:

1) Increasing Pressure – 54 percent of the respondents admitted that they were under more pressure in 2014 when compared with 2013 as far as securing the IT infrastructure of their organizations was concerned. What’s worse, 57 percent of the survey participants anticipated that the pressure was going to increase even more during the current year. Overall, 64 percent of the enterprise respondents expected the pressure to rise during 2015 as compared to 48 percent from small to medium sized organizations.

2) False sense of security – Although high profile cyber-attacks dominated headlines throughout 2014, as many as 70 percent of the respondents believed that their company was safe from security breaches. Among the security breaches that worried the participants the most, customer data theft topped the list with 53 percent votes while intellectual property theft, reputation damage, website disruption and threats of legal action ranked far behind with 21 percent, 12 percent, 7 percent and 2 percent votes.

3) External Threats vs Internal Threats – For the second year in a row, external security threats were voted as more dangerous than internal ones. While 62 percent of the respondents (as compared to 52 percent in 2013) said that they were worried about the security threats posed by hackers and malware, just 38 percent cited internal security threats as a cause of concern. Among the internal threats; unauthorized file transfers were considered as the biggest security risk while installation of unauthorized software/malware, insecure passwords and access/privilege modification were cited as other causes of concern.

4) Emerging technologies – The survey participants also claimed that there was now more pressure on them to adopt emerging technologies like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and move to cloud based services. 47 percent of the participants admitted that they were pressured to use or deploy cloud based services, an increase of 22 percent from the last year.

The survey results also offer a peek into how IT decision makers are planning to meet the rising security threats. While 84 percent of the survey participants said that they were seeking additional staff to fend off security attacks, 78 percent said that they are planning to partner with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) in the near future. And as far as wish list for 2015 was concerned, 29 percent of respondents wanted a hike in security budgets, 24 percent were looking for increased security awareness among the staff while 21 percent wanted additional time to focus on security.

August 3, 2015

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