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83 percent of businesses are not fully prepared for an online security incident: Economist Intelligence Unit

Despite 77 percent of companies suffering an incident in the past two years, over a third of firms (38 percent) still have no incident response plan in place should an incident occur.

Arbor Networks, Inc., has published the results of an Economist Intelligence Unit survey on the issue of incident response preparedness that it sponsored. The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 360 senior business leaders, the majority of whom (73 percent) were C-level management or board members from across the world, with 31 percent based in North America, 36 percent in Europe and 29 percent in Asia-Pacific.

The report entitled ‘Cyber incident response: Are business leaders ready?’ shows that despite 77 percent of companies suffering an incident in the past two years, over a third of firms (38 percent) still have no incident response plan in place should an incident occur. Only 17 percent of businesses globally are fully prepared for an online security incident.

More prepared firms that do have a response plan in place typically rely on the IT department to lead this process, but the majority also draw upon external resources – primarily IT forensic experts, specialist legal advisers and law enforcement experts.

“There is an encouraging trend towards formalizing corporate incident response preparations. But with the source and impact of threats becoming harder to predict, executives should make sure that incident response becomes an organizational reflex rather than just a plan pulled down off the shelf,” said James Chambers, a senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Key findings:

Level of preparedness is being held back by lack of understanding about threats

  • Only 17 percent of business leaders feel fully prepared for an incident.
  • 41 percent of business leaders feel a better understanding of potential threats would help them be better prepared.
  • Having a formal plan or team in place has a significant effect on feeling of preparedness among executives.
  • Half of all companies feel that they are unable to predict the business impact when a breach occurs.

Emphasis on reputation is driving formalization of plans and processes

  • Two-thirds of executives say that responding effectively to an incident can enhance their firm’s reputation.
  • The percentage of organizations that now have an incident response team and plan in place is set to rise above 80 percent in the next few years.
  • Firms that have suffered an incident in the past 24 months are twice as likely to have an arrangement with a third party expert as firms that have not suffered an incident.

Firms remain reticent about disclosing incidents and sharing intelligence about threats

  • 57 percent of organizations do not voluntarily report incidents where they are not legally required to do so.
  • Only a third of companies share information about incidents with other organizations to spread best practice and benchmark their own response.

Download the full report here.

•Date: 19th March 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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