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Black Hat Survey Reveals IT Security Pros Concerns

Posted by Vijay Basani on Jul 22, 2015

Black Hat published their first attended research report, based on survey answers from nearly 500 seasoned IT security professionals who had attended Black Hat conferences in the past. The research study found that organizations for the most part businesses are not dedicating time, money, and other resources to the problems IT security professionals want to focus on to keep the organization secure.


According to the survey, an overwhelming 57% of IT security professionals are the most concerned about sophisticated attacks that target their organization. Despite this being the biggest concern for the majority of survey responders, it turns out that many organizations aren’t prepared to handle a targeted attack. Only 26% of IT security professionals believed that their organizations prioritized spending resources on preventing and curbing targeted attacks.


The second biggest threat today according to 46% of IT security professionals is phishing, social network exploits, and other forms of social engineering. However, only 21% of survey respondents said their organizations could adequately respond to phishing scams and emails, social network exploits, and social engineering. The majority of IT security professionals say their organizations don’t have enough resources to focus on preventing these attacks from even happening in the first place. The third greatest concern for IT security professionals is accidental data leaks caused by end users who fail to follow corporate IT security policy. IT security professionals would ideally like to make sure that every employee knows how to properly follow IT security policies, and the consequences of not doing so, but with limited resources employees aren’t properly trained.


Only 27% of IT security professionals believe that their organizations have enough staff members to defend against the three biggest threats. With regards to monetary resources, only a third of respondents believed that their organizations had the budget to defend against the three biggest threats. Most IT budgets are eaten up by accidental data leaks that were caused by end users who failed to follow security policies. The budgets also were mainly used to prevent sophisticated attacks targeted directly at the organization. Even though current security budgets provide some resources to address the threats that concern IT security professionals the most, they are not enough. According to 25% of survey respondents, the next biggest consumer of IT security spending is internal mistakes or external attacks that cause organizations to lose compliance with industry or regulatory requirements.


According to the survey, 35% of IT security professionals spend the greatest amount of their work day addressing security vulnerabilities introduced by their own application development teams. 31% of respondents spend their days addressing security vulnerabilities introduced through phishing, social network exploits, and other forms of social engineering. The survey showed that 30% of IT security professionals spend their time addressing internal mistakes and external attacks that cause their enterprises to lose compliance with industry or regulatory requirements. 26% of IT staff spend their time fixing accidental data leaks caused by end users.


Almost three-quarters of survey responders said that it is likely that they will need to respond to a significant security compromise this coming year. For them, it is a question of “when,” rather than “if.” The Black Hat survey shows that many IT security professionals spend their time addressing industry compliance issues, or worrying about the compliance issues they’ll have to fix in the future. With EiQ SecureVue, IT security professionals can automate a number of the requirements outlined in various federal regulations including 800-53, 8500.2, CNSSI, and the Risk Management Framework. SecureVue collects event logs from all devices out of the box, and provides forensic search capability to search through millions of events in seconds. With SecureVue, IT professionals can use a single tool to keep their organizations secure and compliant.


Tags: IT Security, IT Professionals, Conference

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