Attacks/Breaches
10/25/2012
04:35 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Cash-Strapped States Under Siege

New survey of state government agency CISOs finds cost of data breaches range from $1 million to $5 million in some states

Most state chief information security officers say that a lack of funding is the biggest challenge in their cybersecurity efforts, and 70 percent of state CISOs have reported a data breach this year.

Only 14 percent say they saw a budget increase between 2010 and 2011, according to a new story by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and Deloitte & Touche LLP. And 44 percent say their budgets didn't budge, while 34 percent say their budgets were reduced. Cybersecurity accounts for about 1 to 2 percent of the overall IT budget in state agencies.

Not surprisingly, there's a lack of confidence among most state CISOs in their ability to protect their data from outside attacks, with just 24 percent saying they are very confident. About one-third say their staffers have the necessary cybersecurity skills and knowledge, and their teams are small: Half of them have a team of anywhere from one to five security staffers.

Some 82 percent of the state CISOs point to phishing and pharming as the top threats to their agencies, a threat they say will continue in 2013, followed by social engineering, increasingly sophisticated malware threats, and mobile devices.

"The biennial Deloitte-NASCIO CISO Cybersecurity survey has become a key element in NASCIO’s advocacy focused on improving states IT security programs," said Doug Robinson, NASCIO Executive Director. "Particularly in a time of aggressive threats, tight budgets and gaps in compliance, it's critical that CIOs and CISOs work collaboratively with state policy-makers and agency leadership in an effort to reduce risks and better protect citizen data."

Collaboration was one of the main recommendations in the study for state CISOs -- specifically, that they partner with other key players in the agency, including policy-makers and agency officials in a team effort for protecting their citizens' data.

"There’s never been a better opportunity for CISOs to partner with business stakeholders — and advocate jointly for increases in cybersecurity budgets through well-articulated strategies, measures, and outcomes," said Srini Subramanian, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP and leader of its security and privacy practice to state governments.

Budget constraints have led to more outsourcing to cloud providers or other service providers of the state agency's email, data storage, and disaster recovery services, for instance. But CISOs are lukewarm about their trust in the third-party provider's security: Only 4 percent are very confident, with 74 percent "somewhat confident" and 18 percent "not very confident."

Meanwhile, for some states, the cost of data breaches range from $1 million to $5 million, according to the study.

The full 2012 Deloitte-National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Cybersecurity Study is available here for download (PDF).

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7407
Published: 2014-10-22
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the MRBS module for Drupal allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of unspecified victims via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-3675
Published: 2014-10-22
Shim allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted DHCPv6 packet.

CVE-2014-3676
Published: 2014-10-22
Heap-based buffer overflow in Shim allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted IPv6 address, related to the "tftp:// DHCPv6 boot option."

CVE-2014-3677
Published: 2014-10-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Shim might allow attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted MOK list, which triggers memory corruption.

CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.