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3/28/2016
12:00 PM
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Most Federal Agencies Have Suffered A Data Breach

Vormetric report indicates that security spending in federal agencies hampers modern security techniques to safeguard critical data.

The majority of US federal agencies say they feel vulnerable to data threats, a new study has found.

The new Vormetric study, conducted in collaboration with analyst firm 451 Research, is part of a bigger study of around 1,110 senior IT executives worldwide. The report essentially shows opinions of IT security leaders in US federal agencies on data breaches, security planning, and IT security spending. According to the report, skill (44%) and budget (43%) constraints are the primary barriers to the adoption of strong data security. The key findings from the report are:

  • More than 60% of federal agencies have suffered a data breach, and nearly 20% have experienced a breach in the last year.

  • 90% of federal government organizations feel vulnerable to data threats, and many are planning to increase security spending this year.

Garrett Bekker, senior analyst information security at 451 Research, said that there is a huge gap between the spending and the need to secure the sensitive data. The survey results also indicate that federal IT security pros are fighting today’s wars with the weapons of yesterday, he said.

Over the next 12 months, 53% of agenices will increase spending on network defenses, while 46% will spend more on analysis and correlation tools. Also, 57% of these respondents consider meeting compliance requirements as a "very" or "extremely" effective way to protect sensitive data.

The results exposed privileged users (64%) and cyber criminals (76%) as top internal and external threats, and the biggest concerns in the cloud are attacks at the service provider level and vulnerabilities associated with a shared infrastructure (both 70%). To deal with these threats, 84% of US federal respondents are planning to store sensitive data in some public cloud environment within next year. Respondents also feel worried about adopting big data and IoT (Internet of Things) technologoies

Meanwhile, federal agencies are planning to adopt modern security tools including cloud security gateways (40%), application encryption (34%), data masking (31%), and tokenization (27%) to protect sensitive data.

For detailed survey findings from Vormetric, a Thales company, read this report.

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2016 | 8:29:25 AM
Par for the course
I suppose this is hardly surprising.  There is an adage that there are two types of organizations -- those that have discovered a breach, and those that don't yet know that they've been breached.

Why should federal agencies be any different?
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