Business aren't prepared for cyber attacks, study says

| by Robert Siciliano
Business aren't prepared for cyber attacks, study says

Amazing. With the proliferation of cyber attacks globally, most businesses are ill prepared to deal with one, says research from theEconomist Intelligence Unitand Arbor Networks.

Perhaps businesses have an “It won’t happen to us” mindset, even though hackers can steal the most sensitive data; force the company to make enormous payments to remedy the situation; and crush customers’ trust — in turn damaging future profits.

It’s a pebble-thrown-into-a-pond effect: Those ripples just keep going out and out. What’s more, companies seem not to realize that if they nickel-and-dime security, they’ll get what they pay for.

The Economist-Arbor study turned up the following in a survey of 360 senior business leaders in organizations in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific:

seventy-seven percent experienced a security breach within the past two years;

  • thirty-eight percent lack a response plan for a cyber attack;
  • seventeen percent believe they’re “fully prepared” for a cyber attack.
  • companies that suffered a data breach within the past two years were actually twice as likely as others to have relied upon a third-party IT team;
  • forty-one percent of business decisionmakers believe that a more solid understanding of risks and potential threats would help them to be better prepared, but oddly, only one-third of businesses share concerns with other businesses for the sake of spreading best practices and information; and
  • fifty-seven percent do not report incidents on a voluntary basis if they’re not legally required to do so.

Interestingly, while 41 percent of decisionmakers believe that a more solid understanding of potential threats would increase preparedness, only one-third are willing to share information with other businesses about incidents concerning data security.

The big message regarding cyber attacks on businesses all over the world: It’s not if, it’s when.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID, and the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen.

Topics: Research, Security

Robert Siciliano
Robert Siciliano is CEO of He is a nationally known speaker on the subject of identity theft. www

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