Lancope And Ponemon Institute Study: CEOs In The Dark About Cyberattacks

Results also indicate that many organizations are ill-prepared to fend off today’s advanced threats

January 21, 2014

5 Min Read


Atlanta, January 21, 2014 – Lancope, Inc., a leader in network visibility and security intelligence, today announced the results of a Ponemon Institute report entitled, "Cyber Security Incident Response: Are we as prepared as we think?" Findings show that while security threats are imminent, CEOs and other members of the management team are in the dark about potential cyber-attacks against their companies. The research also shows that, as a result, Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) often lack the resources necessary to fend off the continuous onslaught of advanced threats facing today's organizations.

Commissioned by Lancope, the Ponemon Institute research surveyed 674 IT and IT security professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom who are involved in their organization's CSIRT activities. The study concludes with key recommendations for organizations looking to improve their incident response process.

Key findings from the study include:

- Security incidents are imminent– Sixty-eight percent of respondents say their organization experienced a security breach or incident in the past 24 months. Forty-six percent say another incident is imminent and could happen within the next six months.

- Management is largely unaware of cyber security threats – Eighty percent of respondents reported that they don't frequently communicate with executive management about potential cyber-attacks against their organization.

- Organizations are not measuring the effectiveness of their incident response efforts – Fifty percent of respondents do not have meaningful operational metrics to measure the overall effectiveness of incident response.

- Breaches remain unresolved for an entire month – While most organizations said they could identify a security incident within a matter of hours, it takes an entire month on average to work through the process of incident investigation, service restoration and verification.

- CSIRTs lack adequate investments– Half of all respondents say that less than 10% of their security budgets are used for incident response activities, and most say their incident response budgets have not increased in the past 24 months.

- Network audit trails are the most effective tool for incident response – Eighty percent of respondents say that analysis of audit trails from sources like NetFlow and packet captures is the most effective approach for detecting security incidents and breaches. This choice was more popular than intrusion detection systems and anti-virus software.

"The findings of our research suggest that companies are not always making the right investments in incident response," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "As a result, they may not be as prepared as they should be to respond to security incidents. One recommendation is for organizations to elevate the importance of incident response and make it a critical component of their overall business strategy."

"If 2013 is any indication, today's enterprises are ill-equipped to identify and halt sophisticated attacks launched by nation-states, malicious outsiders and determined insiders," said Mike Potts, president and CEO of Lancope. "Now is the time for C-level executives and IT decision-makers to come together and develop stronger, more comprehensive plans for incident response. This communication is critical if we want to reduce the astounding frequency of high-profile data breaches and damaging corporate losses we are seeing in the media on a near-daily basis."

Results to be presented at RSA Conference 2014 and via webinar

Dr. Larry Ponemon will join Lancope, The Coca-Cola Company, General Motors and Viewpost executives in an RSA Conference 2014 panel discussionto explore the results of the study and share insights on how to build a great CSIRT with the executive support and respect it needs. The panel, "Why Cyber Incident Response Teams Get No Respect," will take place on Wednesday, February 26, at 9:20 a.m. U.S. Pacific time in Room 3009at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The results will also be presented via a free webinar on January 29, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Pacific time. Participants can join Dr. Ponemon and Lancope's director of security research, Tom Cross, to hear about the key mistakes organizations are making when it comes to incident response, and how the right mix of people, processes and technology can dramatically improve incident response efforts. Those interested can register at:

Further Information

For media inquiries related to the Ponemon Institute incident response study, or to schedule briefings with Lancope and Dr. Larry Ponemon at RSA Conference 2014, please contact Lesley Sullivan or Kendra Dorr at [email protected]. For a full copy of the study, "Cyber Security Incident Response: Are we as prepared as we think?" please visit:

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. For more information, visit

About Lancope

Lancope, Inc. is a leading provider of network visibility and security intelligence to defend enterprises against today's top threats. By collecting and analyzing NetFlow, IPFIX and other types of flow data, Lancope's StealthWatch® System helps organizations quickly detect a wide range of attacks from APTs and DDoS to zero-day malware and insider threats. Through pervasive insight across distributed networks, including mobile, identity and application awareness, Lancope accelerates incident response, improves forensic investigations and reduces enterprise risk. Lancope's security capabilities are continuously enhanced with threat intelligence from the StealthWatch Labs research team. For more information, visit

Kendra Dorr

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