TRAVERSE CITY — A new study from the Traverse City-based cybersecurity research firm Ponemon Institute says 75 percent of organizations in the United States are not prepared to respond to cyberattacks, leaving them vulnerable to the increasing intensity and volume of security breaches.
The study, called “The Cyber Resilient Organization: Learning to Thrive Against Threats,” benchmarks U.S. organizations’ “cyber resilience” and gives them ways to improve and measure their cyber resilience over time. Cyber resdilience is found to be the most potent weapon organizations have in prevailing against the mounting threats they face.
The study — written by Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, with founding sponsor Resilient Systems, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of cyberattack incident response technologies — surveyed more than 600 IT and security executives about their organizations’ approaches to becoming more resilient in the face of increasingly problematic and frequent cyberattacks.
The respondents comprised a wide range of senior security professionals across several industries, including financial services, healthcare, government, technology, and manufacturing.
Key findings from the new study include:
* Attaining cyber resilience is critical to achieving business goals: Ninety-one percent said cyber resilience is essential to protecting intellectual property, while 90 percent said it is required for minimizing non-compliance with regulations and obligations.
* However, the current state of cyber resilience for these organizations needs immediate improvement. Only 25 percent believe that their organization is truly cyber resilient. Only 32 percent feel that they can properly recover from a cyberattack.
* The vast majority also believe that they lack the proper tools and infrastructure to prevent attacks in the first place. The majority of organizations are not prepared to respond to the next wave of cyberattacks and threats. Only 30 percent of respondents have what the study calls a Cyber Security Incident Response Plan (CSIRP) in place. Only 17 percent have a well-defined CSIRP that is applied consistently across their organization.
* Human error is the enemy of cyber resilience — the No. 1 risk.
* Lack of collaboration across business functions makes organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks. One-third (32 percent) of respondents stated that collaboration between business functions was poor or non-existent, and had a direct negative impact on their organization’s level of cyber resilience.
* Preparedness and agility are most important to improving levels of cyber resilience. Sixty-five percent of respondents stated that their organizations have not devoted the necessary time and resources for planning and preparing for the next wave of cyberattacks. And more than half (55 percent) believe their organization lacks sufficient risk awareness, analysis, and assessments in combating those cyberattacks.
“We found that cyber resilience is now the number one goal for security teams across these organizations, but they must adopt new technologies, improve collaboration across business functions, and have proper (plans) in place, among other things, before they can attain that goal,” Ponemon said. “Until then, their organizations remain extremely vulnerable to the next wave of cyberattacks from increasingly sophisticated and determined hackers.”
Added John Bruce, CEO and co-founder of Resilient Systems: “Cyber resilience requires businesses to align prevention, detection, and response efforts – and it’s clear companies need help practicing and provisioning for their response to cyberattacks. By proactively ensuring their people, processes, and technologies are equipped for response, businesses can be confident that they’ll thrive despite growing cyber threats.”
The Ponemon Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.
Resilient Systems offers incident response software, arming incident response teams with workflows, intelligence, and deep-data analytics to react faster, coordinate better, and respond smarter. More at resilientsystems.com.