Business Failing to Act on Increased Cyber Security Awareness, says survey

Business Failing to Act on Increased Cyber Security Awareness, says survey

In spite of the recent series of high-profile cyber attacks making businesses more aware of cyber security, they are failing themselves by neglecting to take the necessary actions.

That is the verdict from the 10th CyberArk Global Advanced Threat Landscape Survey, which assessed how enterprises are reacting to high-profile cyber incidents.

The research discovered that, while 82% or those surveyed feel that there has been progress in the war on cyber crime, it has been undermined by insufficient security procedures in such critical areas as cloud computing, third-party vendor access and privileged account security.

The numbers clearly show a trend. From the survey, 79% said that the organisation they represent had learned valuable lessons from key cyber incidents, with two-thirds (67%) now believing that the board/CEO have assumed a leadership role, a 12% increase from last year. Further, the increase in awareness has led to malware detection improvements (25%), security analytics (16%), and endpoint security (24%).

However, 40% of organisations are still saving admin and privileged passwords in spreadsheets or Word documents, with 49% granting internal network remote access to third-party vendors.

The positive is that firms are increasingly coming to terms with the importance of responding to a potential attack. One such example would be that 95% of those surveyed that their firms have an emergency response plan in place, with 75% believing that they are in a position to thwart any attempts to hack the internal network.

Overconfidence, however, is a concerning factor. The greater focus on preparation is being overshadowed by insufficient testing and communication, only carried out on a regular basis by 45% of those surveyed. Further, 36% believe that either a hacker is currently prowling or has been within the past 12 months. A higher number (46%) feel that their company has fallen foul to ransomware within the past two years.

CyberArk CMO John Worrall said:

“The findings of this year’s Global Advanced Threat Landscape Survey demonstrate that cyber security awareness doesn’t always equate to being secure. Organisations undermine their own efforts by failing to enforce well-known security best practices around potential vulnerabilities associated with privileged accounts, third-party vendor access and data stored in the cloud.

“There’s a fine line between preparedness and overconfidence. The majority of cyber attacks are a result of poor security hygiene – organisations can’t lose sight of the broader security picture while trying to secure against the threat du jour.”

The increase in awareness among organisations is certainly a positive in the war on cyber crime. However, the lack of action creates a vulnerability against an increasingly sophisticated hacking community. With hackers attacking organisations ranging from small businesses to national governments, it is more important than ever for organisations to do all they can to defend against threats by creating cyber security jobs. Having the right people with the necessary skills on board is the only way that a potential attack can be thwarted, or successful damage control applied should an attack occur.

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