Some 14% of IT decision makers from large companies would pay more than $500,000 to avoid public shaming or other devastating consequences after a security breach, according to a survey by Bitdefender of 250 IT decision makers at companies in the US with more than 1,000 PCs.
The survey shows only a third of US companies would refuse to pay attackers if their infrastructure gets compromised while two-thirds would pay an average of $124K. From those who would pay, some 40% would give less than $10K, 26% between $10K and $100K, and 19% between $100K and $500K.
These results confirm that negative media headlines could cause substantial financial damage, ruin business forecasts and severely damage reputations.
In a recent case, officials from Verizon, which agreed to buy Yahoo’s core properties for $4.83B in July, told reporters that the company has “a reasonable basis” to suspect the Yahoo security breach, one of the largest ever, could have a meaningful financial impact on the deal. This further highlights the risk that cyber incidents could alter significant transactions and even destroy whole companies under the enormous pressure from both stakeholders and media. In the minds of board members, IT decision makers in C-level suites are to blame for breaches. Failure to mitigate and act quickly and efficiently in case of a breach can cost CIOs and IT manager their jobs.
Bitdefender’s survey shows 64% of IT decision makers think their company’s IT security budget is sufficient, while 26% say it is adequate but the company is understaffed. Another 7% say they have enough budget but it doesn’t support expansion. Only 3% of IT decision makers surveyed said the IT security budget in their company is insufficient. The IT decision makers, on average, say only 64% of cyberattacks can be stopped, detected or prevented with the current resources.
Bitdefender’s survey also shows that 34% of companies acknowledge that they were breached in the past 12 months, while 74% of respondents don’t know how.
Cybercriminals can spend large amounts of time inside organizations without being detected; Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are often defined as threats designed to evade detection. In the virtualization paradigm, since nothing executed in raw memory is encrypted – just scrambled – APTs that try to execute malicious code on a virtual machine will be intercepted by Bitdefender’s hypervisor introspection technology long before they actually compromise the operating system. In fact, as soon as the malicious code, even delivered via a zero-day exploit, tries to execute in the VM’s memory, the introspection engine will immediately “see” the malicious action and the code that it was trying to execute.
This survey was conducted in October 2016 by iSense Solutions for Bitdefender on 250 IT security purchasing professionals from enterprises with 1,000 or more PCs based in the United States. The sample included CIOs/CEOs/ CISOs – 26 percent; IT managers/directors – 56 percent; IT system administrators – 10 percent; IT support specialists – 5 percent.)