Although many organizations feel they have taken the necessary measures to ensure their cybersecurity efforts are up-to-date and effective, adequate data protection remains one of the greatest weaknesses for many organizations, according to a recent survey by IT security firm Trend Micro Inc.
Beginning in January and running through May 2016, Trend Micro held an online survey to determine organizations’ readiness to effectively protect themselves against possible threats anticipated throughout the coming year. Data was gathered from 278 respondents.
The survey findings revealed that 26 percent of participants did not believe they are prepared for cyberattacks. Additionally, while Trend Micro predicted that online extortion would be one of the strongest means of attack this year, 18 percent of survey respondents believe they are not prepared to address these types of attacks, which could include malware intrusion and attacks on mobile payment systems.
“But if there’s one lesson from the survey that everyone should take and act on right away, it’s that the ransomware threat should be met with a full reevaluation of your organizations countermeasures to see if they really are matching the latest threats out there,” Trend Micro explained in a blog post.
The government sector is most prepared to address cyber threats, the survey discovered. Up to 34 percent of the respondents from government organizations earned a good rating, which indicates that the organization is prepared for this year’s biggest security challenges.
This favorable level of preparedness may be due to the proactive efforts the government has been taking to safeguard their networks and methods of mobile communication. In addition, government agencies often experience lower impact from the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile risk factors, as compared to other industries.
Homeland Security Today previously reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) was addressing possible vulnerabilities brought forth from the IoT by enhancing their networking systems with more advanced detection and monitoring abilities.
The survey further revealed that while the government received the most favorable feedback on preparedness, many private sector industries received much less stellar ratings. The healthcare industry, for example is the least prepared for IoT-related security concerns, with only 36 percent of the respondents expressing confidence in their organization’s ability to address IoT-related threats.
The least security-ready industry was the communications and media sector, with almost 43 percent of survey responders failing to demonstrate adequate security preparedness. Trend Micro attributes this sector’s lack of preparedness to the nature of their industry, which relies heavily on outsourcing and external technology integration.
Opening up the organization to outside sources risks vulnerablility to intrusion, since the third party could not practice diligence in their security protocol.
The education, retail,and technology sectors could also benefit from taking more proactive measures to improve their preparedness and ability to defend against IoT threats.
To prepare for possible future threats that could touch any industry at any time, organizations and personnel should determine what security measures will best fit their industry and cyber activity level, put in place strong network systems, and address areas of weakness which could leave them open to intrusion.