Cyber Security Measures: The Gap Between Fear and Action

    Aug 27, 2013
    Untitled Document

    An amazing 97% of businesses with annual security budgets totaling more than $1 million are concerned that they are vulnerable to targeted malware attacks and other sophisticated cyber-crime and cyber-espionage tactics. So revealed a survey of 200 C-level executives at U.S. based companies conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of ThreatTrack Security.

    The survey also reported that 33% of the companies surveyed — including 50% of financial services firms and 53% of manufacturing companies — have experienced a targeted cyber-attack.

    Unfortunately, these executives’ fear has not necessarily translated into adopting best practices in cyber-defense technologies and assigning specialized personnel to protect their networks. For example, 42% responded that they do not have an incident response team in place, and 47% said they are not using advanced malware analysis tools. Most (82%) of financial services firms are concerned about sophisticated attacks to their networks, but only half of them use an advanced malware analysis tool like a sandbox.

    Consumers share some of these basic fears. A companion survey of consumers reported that 75% of consumers are concerned about the security of their personally identifiable information. And for good reason, since nearly half (47%) of them said they had been notified at some point that their information had been compromised by a breach.

    While frightening, such statistics also indicate some opportunity for information governance professionals to take a lead in generating organizational responses to such issues. While IT will be largely responsible for identifying attacks and appropriate prevention measures, collaboration with other parts of the organization may be appropriate.

    For example, once a breach has been identified, it may be necessary to change security authorizations for some personnel. Once the organization knows what type of data has been hacked or accessed, it may be necessary to notify individual customers, business partners, government agencies, or employees.

    The information governance program may be the organization’s central point for identifying the steps necessary for an efficient and effective response.  Information governance personnel should make a point of monitoring industry data to identify the types of attacks that are prevalent at any given point in time and sharing that information with IT so preventive steps can be taken.

    The steps needed for an efficient incident response will vary, largely depending on the type of incident it is, what information has been hacked, and the potential impact of the data loss. But information governance professionals should be on the lookout for these opportunities to provide this kind of guidance.

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