recommended reading

Survey: Most IT Execs Say Their Companies Can Only Handle ‘Simple’ Cyberincidents

Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock.com

Most corporate information security executives believe their teams can only handle “simple” incidents, like deactivating a lost phone or scanning a computer for a virus. This reflects a steady loss of confidence among corporate infosec pros in their ability to keep up with modern threats, according to a new global survey by ISACA, a non-profit group that certifies security professionals, and the RSA Conference, a series of events by security vendor RSA.

The same survey, conducted two years ago, found that 87% of respondents were comfortable with their teams’ ability to deal with security incidents. That figure dropped to 73% in the latest survey, which polled 461 information security practitioners and managers:

The survey also revealed the types of incidents that corporate infosec executives face on a daily basis. Almost a third reported dealing with phishing attacks–attempts to trick users into divulging sensitive information with cleverly disguised messages–every day. Malicious code and hacking are the other two problems that security pros grapple with daily:

Things aren’t looking up for the people charged with keeping corporate systems safe. There’s a skills gap in the infosec space, with most survey respondents saying it takes between three and six months to fill a vacancy. And even when a hire is made, respondents most frequently said that less than a quarter of those are actually qualified for the job. Companies generally provide on-the-job training to hires to get them up to speed, according to the survey.

Understaffed, underqualified, and overwhelmed security departments aren’t feeling optimistic about their ability to keep up with new technologies, and the threats these bring. A majority of respondents saw artificial intelligence posing a risk to corporate security. They were also concerned about the growth of the Internet of Things, which expands the “attack surface” available to hackers.

But Ron Hale, ISACA’s chief knowledge officer, says security managers shouldn’t be so glum. “When there’s a risk there’s a reward,” he told Quartz. “We can use AI to identify where hackers are; we can identify what incidents are occurring in a system. We can start using these systems to our benefit, rather than just relying on human judgment.”

(Image via /Shutterstock.com)

By Joon Ian Wong Quartz March 8, 2016

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.