Attacks/Breaches

11/2/2016
12:40 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Business Security Confidence Contradicts High Success Rate Of Attacks

Research indicates one in three cyberattacks results in a security breach, but most organizations are confident in their defense tactics.

One in three targeted attack attempts in the past 12 months led to a security breach, or about two- to three successful attacks per month for the average company.

This finding comes from a new Accenture report published today, entitled "Building Confidence: Facing the Cybersecurity Conundrum." Researchers surveyed 2,000 top security execs representing companies with annual revenue of $1B or more, to gauge their perceptions of cyber risk and the effectiveness of current security efforts and investments.

Enterprises experience about 106 coordinated attack attempts per year. And despite the high success rate of attacks, 75% of respondents say they can sufficiently defend their organizations. Seventy percent say their enterprise has a strong attitude towards cybersecurity.

This overconfidence, however, could be putting them at risk.

"We started seeing this paradox," says Kevin Richards, managing director of Accenture Security North America. "[Execs] were very confident, they thought they had a cybersecurity culture, but one-third of attacks were getting through."

Many businesses are ineffectively allocating their security budgets. The majority of respondents say internal breaches have the biggest impact; however, 58% prioritize developing perimeter security over focusing on high-impact insider threats.

There is a strong disconnect between current areas of focus, says Richards, and areas that could cause the greatest harm if breached. "Research painted a picture of how wide the gap is," he notes.

With larger budgets, 44- to 54% of respondents would "double down" on current priorities: protecting the organization's reputation (54%) and safeguarding business data (47%) and customer data (44%). Fewer would invest in efforts that affect the bottom line, like easing financial loss (28%) or improving cybersecurity training (17%).

Security pros are being out-innovated by the hackers targeting them. "We know how to write better code," says Richards. "We know which assets are important to us; we know where important data elements are. We can protect those."

The problem is, attackers can innovate faster because they don't have business obstacles like reporting cycles, budgets, and audit replies impeding their progress. Speeding time-to-market also pushes employees to deliver products without verifying security.

Security experts need to "out-innovate" their adversaries, says Ryan LaSalle, managing director of growth and strategy at Accenture Security. "As they up their game from an innovation perspective, we have to, too."

Going forward, execs' confidence will change as businesses have more frank discussions about their risks, defenses, and ability to mature their security programs, he says. Their goals should be less about eliminating risk and more about understanding it.

There are several measures organizations can take to improve their security posture so they understand risk and know what they need to do to combat it.

Security and business execs need to work more closely together. Corporate leaders are aware of various enterprise risks -- competitive, portfolio, operational, environmental -- but they don't always know about cyber risk, LaSalle says.

As business and security departments mature, this becomes more important. CEOs, CFOs, and COOs don't yet fully understand cyber risk, but they want to.

"Security teams need to articulate business exposure to a technical flaw," agrees Richards. "They need to educate the business impacts of cybersecurity challenges to the board and the C-suite. [Security] needs to start at the top and work its way down."

He also recommends pressure-testing the organization to find vulnerabilities before hackers do.

"Swing at it like a real attacker," he emphasizes. Screening technologies, while helpful, won't provide the same insight. "Attack it the way a human attacks it. Because then you know."

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
WebAuthn, FIDO2 Infuse Browsers, Platforms with Strong Authentication
John Fontana, Standards & Identity Analyst, Yubico,  9/19/2018
Turn the NIST Cybersecurity Framework into Reality: 5 Steps
Mukul Kumar & Anupam Sahai, CISO & VP of Cyber Practice and VP Product Management, Cavirin Systems,  9/20/2018
NSS Labs Files Antitrust Suit Against Symantec, CrowdStrike, ESET, AMTSO
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: White Privelege Day
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The Risk Management Struggle
The Risk Management Struggle
The majority of organizations are struggling to implement a risk-based approach to security even though risk reduction has become the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of enterprise security strategies. Read the report and get more details today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-17282
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
An issue was discovered in Exiv2 v0.26. The function Exiv2::DataValue::copy in value.cpp has a NULL pointer dereference.
CVE-2018-14592
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
The CWJoomla CW Article Attachments PRO extension before 2.0.7 and CW Article Attachments FREE extension before 1.0.6 for Joomla! allow SQL Injection within download.php.
CVE-2018-15832
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
upc.exe in Ubisoft Uplay Desktop Client versions 63.0.5699.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the processing of URI ha...
CVE-2018-16282
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
A command injection vulnerability in the web server functionality of Moxa EDR-810 V4.2 build 18041013 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands with root privilege via the caname parameter to the /xml/net_WebCADELETEGetValue URI.
CVE-2018-16752
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
LINK-NET LW-N605R devices with firmware 12.20.2.1486 allow Remote Code Execution via shell metacharacters in the HOST field of the ping feature at adm/systools.asp. Authentication is needed but the default password of admin for the admin account may be used in some cases.