Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Enterprises Struggle to Identify Sources of Risk

Security remains top priority, but businesses wrestle with business case, BT study says

Enterprises are putting a good deal of emphasis on risk management these days, but they don't all agree on how to measure risk, according to a new industry study.

The annual security study, which will be published Friday by service provider BT, offers a look at enterprise security priorities and perceived threats. The upshot: Although managing risk has become an important thread in IT security, making a business case for security technology is still a challenge.

In the survey, 83 percent of enterprises placed "improving security" among their top priorities for the next 12 months. Twenty-two percent said it is their first priority. More than a third of respondents plan to implement risk management tools across all of their business units in the next 12 months; another 26 percent will implement such tools with some business units.

But identifying the source of the risk -- and making a business case for investing in the technology required to reduce it -- remain elusive targets for many enterprises, the study says.

For one thing, the fear of internal attacks seems to have diminished over the past two years. In 2006, about 40 percent of respondents said internal attacks were their top concern; that figure has dropped to 33 percent. In 2006, some 37 percent of executives felt that internal attacks were the most potentially damaging or costly; that figure has dropped to 35 percent.

"It seems that the pendulum, which had swung toward internal concerns, is now swinging the other way," says Dustin Owens, one of the leaders of the security research project.

At the same time, however, executives who responded to the survey indicated that end users remain the weakest link in the security chain. Thirty percent of respondents indicated that "inadequately trained/unconcerned users" are their biggest concern when evaluating potential security breaches.

"Given all the attention that's been paid to user awareness in the past few years, it's sort of surprising that the user issue continues to be such a big part of the problem," says Rick Blum, director of strategic marketing at BT. "It's proof that security awareness training can only get you so far."

And despite heavy emphasis on security issues, many organizations still don't review their environments for potential vulnerabilities as often as they should, according to the study. Only about 48 percent of enterprises said they evaluate their security postures as often as four times a year.

Part of the problem is that security pros need to do a better job of making a business case, the study says. "This will require quantifying the potential cost of data loss as well as downtime caused by a virus or other attack," the report states. "These costs should take into account financial damages (outright theft), recovery costs (notification of affected parties, etc.), and loss of reputation (leading to loss of business)."

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

  • BT Global Services

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
    Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
    USB Drive Security Still Lags
    Dark Reading Staff 10/9/2019
    Virginia a Hot Spot For Cybersecurity Jobs
    Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  10/9/2019
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Current Issue
    7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
    This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
    Flash Poll
    2019 Online Malware and Threats
    2019 Online Malware and Threats
    As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2019-17612
    PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
    An issue was discovered in 74CMS v5.2.8. There is a SQL Injection generated by the _list method in the Common/Controller/BackendController.class.php file via the index.php?m=Admin&c=Ad&a=category sort parameter.
    CVE-2019-17613
    PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
    qibosoft 7 allows remote code execution because do/jf.php makes eval calls. The attacker can use the Point Introduction Management feature to supply PHP code to be evaluated. Alternatively, the attacker can access admin/index.php?lfj=jfadmin&action=addjf via CSRF, as demonstrated by a payload in...
    CVE-2019-17395
    PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
    In the Rapid Gator application 0.7.1 for Android, the username and password are stored in the log during authentication, and may be available to attackers via logcat.
    CVE-2019-17602
    PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
    An issue was discovered in Zoho ManageEngine OpManager before 12.4 build 124089. The OPMDeviceDetailsServlet servlet is prone to SQL injection. Depending on the configuration, this vulnerability could be exploited unauthenticated or authenticated.
    CVE-2019-17394
    PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
    In the Seesaw Parent and Family application 6.2.5 for Android, the username and password are stored in the log during authentication, and may be available to attackers via logcat.