A study published today has suggested that organisations are "dangerously" unprepared against cyber threats. Indeed, some of the results also indicates that organisations over-state their ability to identify - and therefore deal with - data breaches.
The second annual Resilience Report, released by cyber security analytics platform RedSeal, quizzed 600 UK and US senior IT decision makers about the cyber challenges they face.
It found that IT security teams are struggling to keep up with cyber attacks and are on the verge of a dangerous cyber crisis. Significant internal and external challenges are the main cause.
Struggling to protect their organisations from cyber crime, CISOs, CIOs and senior cyber professionals identified four key areas of concern.
Most firms are making decisions about security in the dark
The first is the sophisticated threat landscape, which is evolving faster than teams are able to respond. More than half of respondents (54 per cent) believe that their IT and IT security teams can't keep up with these threats.
That same number also said that their companies just don't have the tools and resources they need to fight cyber crime. Meanwhile, 55 per cent said they can't react quickly enough, enabling attackers to do more damage.
Only one-in-five participants said they're confident that their organisation can get back up and running following a devastating cyber attack.
There's also a serious lack of preparation among firms. Only one-quarter said that they test their cyber-security infrastructure at least every year.
The third area identified by report is that there's a growing gap between perceived and true detection times. "Once a network is compromised, a cyber attack festers until it's detected and resolved," suggested RedSeal.
It continued: "Alarmingly, the RedSeal Resilience report reveals an industry-wide discrepancy between how long it takes from when an organisation's network is compromised to when they become aware of the event."
Some 40 per cent of respondents claimed that detection was their strongest area, with the average discovery time being six hours - at least according to the respondents. But other studies have found that it typically takes between 24 hours and 49 days for an attack to be discovered - not a mere six hours.
The report claims that regulatory compliance drives strategy planning more than threat analysis.
A staggering 92 per cent of respondents said that they have had to adapt to regulatory requirements due to the adoption of public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
Firms don't know what their digital environment looks like
Ray Rothrock, CEO and chairman of RedSeal, said: "Having any one of these four areas - resources, preparation, detection and overarching strategy - in crisis is dangerous. Combined, they're the harbinger of security disaster for any organisation.
"This report underscores the urgency for the leaders of cyber strategy to pivot and aggressively pursue resilience, the ability to maintain business as usual while navigating an attack, as the new gold standard. Being prepared is the best defense."
Nik Whitfield, CEO of Panaseer, added: "The status quo is that most firms are making decisions about security in the dark. Firms don't know what their digital environment looks like.
"They don't know how well their security solutions are performing. They don't have visibility into what their risk is or how it's changing - and almost every 'solution' they buy gives them more noise than signal.
"This means that, day-to-day, security teams are mostly doing ‘patchwork whack-a-mole', dealing with whatever risk they've just bumped into as best they can."
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