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Perceptions Of IT Risk Changing In Business Ranks

Business leaders increasingly see IT risk as huge, but policy making and visibility still lag.

An increasing number of business leaders see poor information security as the single greatest risk to their business. And the majority understand their risk of a suffering a cybersecurity incident as being high. But a large number of their organizations have security policies to match those fears, according to a new survey out this week.

Conducted by Vanson Bourne among 1,000 enterprise business leaders, the Risk:Value Report from NTT Com Security shows that 65% of executives today are certain or fairly certain that they will be struck with a security incident in the future. Meanwhile, over the last two years, the percent of those who would rank poor information security as the single greatest risk to their organization doubled. That risk equals the risk of competitors taking market share from the firm.

However, when it comes to taking meaningful steps to ensuring the safety of the company's data, only 52% report having a complete information security policy in place. And only about a third have a dedicated cybersecurity insurance policy in place. What's worse, among those who do have a policy, 43% worry that a lack of an incident response plan could potentially invalidate their coverage."

"Cybersecurity risks are much like any other threat to corporate wellbeing, in the sense that organizations have an opportunity to quantify it and respond accordingly," says the report. "Assessing the risk and the potential impact enables them to allocate appropriate resources, preventing or at the very least mitigating the potential effects of an intrusion."

 In addition to falling down on the policy side of the house, many enterprises aren't offering their security staff enough visibility into risks in order to pass those along to the line-of-business leaders overseeing corporate risk. In a different survey released this week that conducted by Tripwire among 763 IT professionals, close to two-thirds were unsure how long it would take for automated tools to generate an alert if they detected an unauthorized device on the network. Of those organizations with annual revenue of $250 million to $500 million, fewer than 60% can detect all attempts by users to access files on local systems or network shares without appropriate privileges. Additionally, only about 23% of organizations can automatically discover more than 90% of hardware assets on their networks.

"It’s good news that most organizations are investing in basic security controls; however, IT managers and executives, who don’t have visibility into the time it takes to identify unauthorized changes and devices, are missing key information that’s necessary to defend themselves against cyber attacks," warns Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire.

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Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 12:51:11 PM
Policy?
I'm not sure having a policy does much good when no amount of money you throw at problem can guarantee you can actually secure your data.

It's like the Little Pig who built his house from straw. Would a policy have saved him from the Big Bad Wolf?

At some point, these businesses need to realize that hooking up to internet might be cheap but is currently impossible to secure. And that won't change overnight.
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