Security threats have always been a concern for any sized business, and some of the security concerns organizations have today are the same as in decades past. But advancements in technology have added to the complex nature of many of today’s top security concerns – increasing costs, exponentially.
According to a recent security survey conducted by Dell, security breaches cost US organizations an estimated $25.8 billion each year. So Dell Software commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 1,440 IT decision makers in organizations across 10 countries with 500 or more employees/end users. The goal: to identify top security concerns for today’s organizations. The survey found that although security issues still come from disgruntled employees or natural disasters (physical threats to organizations), there are several growing areas of concern in the realm of computer or cyber security.
Few would argue that there seems to be a new report out almost weekly about a new cyber threat infesting servers at major organizations across the globe. Major retailers and other public organizations are regularly advising customers to change their account passwords due to privacy breaches, email hacks, and the like. The rise of BYOD and cloud computing usage, as well as a rise in internet browsing and searching, has made organizations more vulnerable than ever to security threats.
In fact, a large number of survey respondents identified mobility as the root cause of most breaches, due to the influx of devices in use on corporate networks. This rise in device use opens up many new paths to data exposure and application risk. At 93%, a vast majority of the more than 1400 companies surveyed allow personal devices to be used both at and for work. A quarter of them feel that mobile operating system weaknesses – and possibly security holes in mobile apps – are primary factors leading to most security breaches that are identified. One possible method of plugging the security holes that can come with BYOD: almost half of the companies mentioned the institution of BYOD security policies as a means of securing these devices for their work environment.
With 90% of US companies surveyed reporting the use of some form of cloud computing, probable security concerns and weaknesses in this area are likely for most organizations. Almost a quarter of the responders advised that cloud apps or service usage are or have been the root causes of their security breaches. The specific cause of these breaches is frequently identified as malware, viruses, and intrusions found in web apps, OS patching issues, and other application-related vulnerabilities. Combatting the security risks that come with the use of cloud apps and services requires a complete set of solutions that protect organizations at each interface, from endpoints, to the data center, and finally to the cloud.
Another reason there are so many unknown or new threats emerging so frequently is businesses’ heavy reliance on internet communications tools, web-based applications, internet browsing and data mining, and through employee use of streaming music and video. In fact, 63 percent of respondents ranked an increased reliance upon internet and browser-based applications as a top concern in the next five years. Moreover, a significant number of companies consider infection from public internet sources among their top three security concerns. And I can personally understand where that notion comes from, having watched email infections occur when sales employees access web mail through public kiosks, and fail to logoff or wait for their session to fully timeout before the next user logs in. In attempts to guard and protect against attacks, 70% of companies reported implementing advanced email and/or web security tools in their organizations.
But regardless of where each of these cyber security concerns rank, respondents agreed that all points of exposure must be identified and strengthened to help prevent attacks both inside and outside company walls. These actions include educating and training employees on potential threats, and spending more on preventative monitoring software and services that can detect threats sooner than the average reported detection time of 7 hours. In conclusion, whatever preventative measures are taken, the key to properly securing your company’s network against all potential threats to your organization – in whatever form – is through awareness and protective action that includes the adoption of secure hardware and software solutions.Tags: IT Infrastructure