The study respondents included 749 U.S. and 571 U.K. professionals in the following areas: IT security, IT operations, IT risk management, business operations, compliance/internal audit and enterprise risk management.
"Given the constantly changing nature of security threats and security technologies, it's not surprising that many organizations are having difficulty assessing and prioritizing security risks," noted Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "Unfortunately, the misalignment of perceived risk and security spending coupled with the minimal use of security audits means that many organizations don't have the information they need to improve security risks."
When respondents were asked how their organization assesses and prioritizes risks, the results showed:
Only 50% said they identified specific controls at various network layers to ensure the risks were acceptable to the business
Only 41% said they implemented layered controls to ensure a compensating control exists if one control fails
Only 46% said they fully or partially deployed continuous monitoring
When asked about the deployment of preventative and detective controls, the study revealed:
93% have fully deployed malware detection/prevention
Only 53% said they have fully or partially deployed encryption as a preventative control
Only 43% said they have fully or partially deployed log monitoring as a detective control
Only 43% said they have fully or partially deployed incident detection and alerts
"These results underscore the challenges IT and security professionals grapple with every day," noted John Pierce, vice president of information systems for Tripwire. "The risk and security landscape faced by organizations continues to increase in complexity, requiring us to deploy and manage more sophisticated and comprehensive solutions to address rapidly evolving risks."
Other findings from the study include:
Only 1% of respondents used external audits to identify security risks and only 6% used internal audits
While 46% of respondents use formal risk assessments to identify security risks, only 32% use automated compliance monitoring for this purpose
Only 11% of an organization's security budget is spent protecting the application layer, even though 37% of respondents identified it as a key security risk
Only 19% of an organization's security budget is spent on the human layer
For more information about this study please visit: http://www.tripwire.com/ponemon/2013/#spending
About the Ponemon Institute
The Ponemon Institute© is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the 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
Tripwire is a leading global provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions, enabling enterprises, government agencies and service providers to effectively connect security to their business. Tripwire provides the broadest set of foundational security controls including security configuration management, vulnerability management, file integrity monitoring, log and event management. Tripwire solutions deliver unprecedented visibility, business context and security business intelligence allowing extended enterprises to protect sensitive data from breaches, vulnerabilities, and threats. Learn more at www.tripwire.com or follow us @TripwireInc on Twitter.