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Cybersecurity In-Depth

The Edge

Defenders Worry Orgs Are More Vulnerable Than Last Year

Most IT and security leaders are confident their cybersecurity strategies are on the right track, but they still believe their organizations are as vulnerable as they were a year ago.

Enterprise security defenders find themselves in a rough spot: The number of threats against their organizations is growing and that they're vulnerable to attacks. Data from Dark Reading's 2021 Strategic Security Survey suggest that even though most IT and security leaders are confident about the security defenses they have implemented, they also believe their organizations are more vulnerable to attacks compared with a year ago.

The reasons for this pessimism vary. For 67% of respondents, the biggest concern lies in the fact that there are more attacks this year than there were last year. However, 56% say the increased sophistication of the threats they are facing is why their organizations are more vulnerable to compromise. Other reasons include the surge in ransomware attacks and shortage of skilled security professionals to detect and respond to threats.

A positive development: While 31% of respondents in 2020 said their organizations were more vulnerable to attacks than a year ago because of an inadequate cybersecurity strategy, only 11% say the same in 2021.

Interestingly, respondents were less likely to say their organizations were more vulnerable because there was more data to secure or the increased reliance on outsourcing. In the 2020 survey, 34% of respondents cited an increasing amount of data to secure as a reason, compared with this year's 22%. Similarly, 22% in 2020 cited outsourcing as a reason, compared with 17%.