Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Chicago-based Trustwave confirmed rising levels of job-related stress in the data security trade. The company's third annual 2016 Security Pressures Report, published Feb. 10, 2016, is based on a survey of 1,414 in-house information security professionals in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.
The report compiled three consecutive years of aggregated data, offering strategies for mitigating battle fatigue related to fighting cyber criminals. The survey was conducted by email between November and December 2015, with a 3 percent margin of error, the company stated.
Respondents included high-level security executives from a variety of sectors: technology (31 percent), manufacturing (10 percent), financial services/banking (9 percent), and retail and professional services (both 8 percent).
"Security professionals are under a lot of pressure, not only from advanced threats and the larger attack surface, but also from lack of skills and resources," said Dan Kaplan, Online Content Manager at Trustwave and author of the report. "This causes a lot of organizations and professionals to feel that they don't have the means of achieving desired levels of security."
Tyler Hardison, Security Analyst at Redhawk Network Security in Bend, Ore., and former Chief Information Officer of a California credit union, emphasized the value of sharing knowledge across the entire security information value chain. "It's gratifying to see that the overall concern for security has increased among corporations and the individuals responsible for their institutions," Hardison said. "This is due in part to the increased reporting requirements and regulatory pressures. Additionally, it should be noted that media reports of breaches have dramatically improved as well as the telling of the stories behind these incidents."
Following is a summary of key findings in the report:
Redhawk's Hardison reiterated the need for organizations to focus on their entire security footprint, including internal staff. "[We] should not downplay the role of one's internal staff in the security equation," he said. "Social engineering and outright staff negligence remains the single biggest threat to any institution."
Steve Kelley, Chief Marketing Officer at Trustwave, views the security profession as a unique and stressful environment that exposes security information specialists to bad actors in the form of faceless attackers and internal organizational threats.
"Businesses rely on information security more than ever before and the pressure to show measurable success is taking a toll on security practitioners," Kelley stated. "The widening gulf between the expected outcomes and the struggle to maintain adequate solutions and staff is driving businesses, now as many as 86 percent of them, to partner with a managed security services provider to relax the pressures and help them achieve their cybersecurity goals."
Kaplan added, "Payments is a heavily targeted industry for cybercriminals and can be far more stress inducing than other industries. Merchants and acquirers need to go beyond compliance to solve some of today's security challenges; one way to do that is to partner with a managed services provider."
A complimentary copy of the 2016 Security Pressures Report from Trustwave can be downloaded at www2.trustwave.com/security-pressures-report-2016.html.
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