IRVING, USA: Four in 10 (41 percent) of US business leaders consider cyber security as a foremost priority, paralleled to just 20 percent in that of Europe and 30 percent globally, research from BT has revealed.
The research, which assessed attitudes to cyber security and levels of preparedness among IT decision makers, highlights the fact that European businesses are lagging behind their US counterparts and that too n crucial areas. In the US, 90 percent of the organizations are able to measure the return on investment (ROI) of cyber security measures, compared to just over half in Europe (58 percent). Correspondingly, 86 percent of US directors and senior decision makers say that – they are given IT security training, compared to just 44 percent in Europe.
Worldwide, more than half (58 percent) of the IT decision-makers fraternity stated that their boards underestimate the importance of cyber security. This figure upsurges to 74 percent in the US but plummets to 50 percent in Europe.
The difference in levels of preparedness correlates with attitudes en route for threats at the offing. Non-malicious insider threats (for instance; accidental loss of data) are the most commonly cited security concerns globally, being reported as a serious threat by 65 percent of IT decision makers. In Europe this figure falls to 56 percent and is followed by malicious insider threats (53 percent), hacktivism (48 percent), organized crime (38 percent) and nation states (31 percent).
In the US, the proportion of IT decision makers who see non-malicious insider threats as a severe threat increases to 85 percent and is followed by malicious insider threats (79 percent), hacktivism (77 percent), organized crime (75 percent), terrorism (72 percent) and nation states (70 percent).
Internationally, over half of the IT decision makers believe that hacktivism (54 percent) and malicious insider threats (53 percent) will pose a greater risk over the next 12 months. In the US this increases to 73 percent and 74 percent respectively, compared to 39 percent and 38 percent in Europe. Globally, terrorism is seen as the threat least likely to pose more risk in excess of the next 12 months.
Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, quips: “The research provides a fascinating insight into the changing threat landscape and the challenge this poses for organizations globally. The massive expansion of employee-owned devices, cloud computing and extranets, have multiplied the risk of abuse and attack, leaving organizations exposed to a myriad of internal and external threats – malicious and accidental.”
Rhetoricising further that – “US businesses should be celebrated for putting cyber security on the front foot. The risks to business are moving too fast for a purely reactive security approach to be successful. Nor should cyber security be seen as an issue for the IT department alone.”
In response to the mounting threats, three quarters (75 percent) of IT decision makers worldwide say they would like to refurbish their infrastructure and design them with security features from the ground up, however 74 percent would like to train all staff in cyber security’s best practices on the cards. Likewise, just over half (54 percent) say they would like to engage an external vendor to monitor the system and prevent attacks.
Hughes furthered that: “As the threat landscape continues to evolve, CEOs and board level executives need to invest in cyber security and educate their people in the IT department and beyond. The stakes are too high for cyber security to be pushed to the bottom of the pile.”
Supplementing that – “At BT we help our customers identify and understand the risks and vulnerabilities as well as their critical assets. We provide them with best of breed portfolio, intelligence services plus dedicated subject matter experts to help them put the right security measures in place to mitigate cyber threats.”