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Study Shows Cyber Attacks On The Rise In Spite Of Increasing Security Budgets

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the IT security budgets of most organizations. However, if the results of a new study are to be believed, the rising security budgets have failed to curtail the ever increasing number of cyber attacks. The study was conducted by the Maryland based publishing, research and marketing firm CyberEdge Group and its results were published in the 2015 edition of the company’s annual “Cyberthreat Defense Report”.

As a part of the study, CyberEdge Group interviewed more than 800 IT decision makers (belonging to 19 different industries) from North America and Europe. More than 70 percent of the survey participants admitted that their networks had been breached in 2014 (as compared to 62 percent in 2013) and 20 percent even claimed that they were attacked multiple times (six times or more) during the past year. And as if this wasn’t enough, a majority of the participants (52 percent; up from 39 percent in 2013) believed that their systems could fall prey to a successful cyber-attack in the next one year despite their best efforts.

The Cyberthreat Defense report also sheds a light on how security budgets are increasing across the board. On an average, participating companies spent at least 6 to 10 percent of their IT budgets on security while 20 percent claimed that they spent at least 16 percent of their IT budgets on security. In addition, 62 percent of the respondents believed that their security budget is going to increase in the current year (an increase of 14 percent from the last year).

The report also reveals what kind of security threats were considered dangerous by the IT decision makers. Out of the 10 different categories of cyber threats; malware, phishing and zero-day cyber attacks were considered as the biggest security threats by the respondents whereas Denial of service cyber attacks and drive-by downloads ranked at the bottom of the list. The survey results also show that most enterprises (67 percent) are not happy with their current anti-malware solutions and are even thinking of replacing (33 percent) or augmenting (34 percent) them. This figure also shows a notable increase since last year only 56 percent of the participants had indicated that they were not satisfied with their endpoint security solution.

The survey results also show how organizations are coping with the increased security threats. A large number of participating companies indicated willingness to invest in security analytics solutions, threat intelligence services as well as next-generation firewalls. What’s more, 50 percent of the respondents admitted that they were now using 24×7 monitoring technologies to ensure policy compliance and mitigate threats arising out of security misconfigurations. Also, since more than 60 percent of the participants experienced a significant rise in mobile based security threats in the last one year, mobile device and application management (MDM/MAM) solutions remained the most sought after security product for the second year in a row.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Steve Piper, Chief Executive Officer of CyberEdge Group; admitted that the future indeed looks dangerous since a majority of participants had expressed concern regarding being hit by a cyber-attack in the next one year. However, he also welcomed the steps being taken by the organizations to counter security cyber attacks and even expressed hope that this would lead to increased awareness about security and reduce the overall number of cyber attacks.

August 4, 2015

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