Guidance Software Security Report Finds A Growing Number Of Enterprises Are Preparing For Breaches While Managing Increasing Security Challenges

Guidance Software, the makers of EnCase®, the gold standard in forensic security, today announced the results of a survey of IT and security professionals. The responses indicate that compromise incidents continue to grow in number, severity, and cost. At the same time, an increasing number of enterprises are preparing to respond to a major breach in the coming year.

"As cybercriminals continue to evolve their methods and capabilities, the challenge facing cybersecurity professionals will only grow," said Patrick Dennis, President and CEO of Guidance Software. "We see this reflected in the data on the frequency of attacks, costs of a breach and more. Enterprises are beginning to realize that compromise is inevitable, so they need to ensure that they have a complete strategy that includes costs for prevention and deep detection and response tools. In other words, a growing number of enterprises recognize they live in a world of continuous compromise and no longer have to fear the breach."

A summary of the 2017 survey:

Security Breaches
  • Types of attacks: Approximately 65% of organizations fell victim to malware-related breaches (up from 56% in 2016), while 55% experienced phishing-initiated breaches (down from 58% in 2016). However, only half of respondents (48%) believe they will need to respond to a breach in the coming year. Ransomware attacks remained steady year over year at 23%. 9% paid the ransom in 2017 (no respondents reported paying ransom in 2016).
  • Increased financial losses: One in four organizations suffered significant or minor direct financial losses due to an attack or breach in the past 12 months. 6% of companies claimed significant financial losses, up from 2% in 2016. 19% of companies claimed minor financial losses in 2017; up from 11% in 2016. Among those who were hit by directly targeted breaches, 20% bore costs in excess of $1 million.

Attack Fallout
  • Network or business applications unavailable: 35% of respondents said they experienced unavailability in 2017, up from 28% in 2016.
  • Intellectual property theft or information confidentiality: 19% of respondents faced property theft or information confidentially in 2017; up from 13% in 2016.
  • Minor financial losses: 19% of companies claimed minor financial losses in 2017; up from 11% in 2016.

Security Preparedness
  • Improved preparedness: 54% of organizations feel well prepared to respond to a major breach in the coming year (up from 51% in 2016). Additionally, twice as many respondents (25%) as last year (12%) said they are looking to build a formal security and incident management team within the next year.
  • Effect of the cloud: A third of respondents (32%) believe that the use of cloud services and applications makes their data less secure.

Top three IT Security Challenges:
  • Assessing risk: 35% of respondents named assessing risk the biggest IT security challenge; up from 32% in 2016.
  • Enforcing security policies: 34% respondents named enforcing security policies the top challenge; up from 31% in 2016.
  • Managing the complexity of security: 33% respondents named managing the complexity of security the biggest challenge, which was the same in 2016.

Survey Methodology

The online survey questioned 330 IT professionals from North America in May 2017. Respondents had IT security-related job titles or had IT security job responsibilities. The survey was carried out in strict accordance with standard market research practices.

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