Only half (49 percent) of organizations have sufficient budget to fully meet their current cyber security needs, and 11 percent can, at best, protect only their most critical assets, according to a recent survey by the Neustar International Security Council (NISC).
Despite the rapidly changing threat landscape, one-third (35 percent) of information technology and security professionals responding to the survey said their organization’s cyber security budget would remain the same or decrease in 2023, and 44 percent of these individuals believe their business will be more exposed and at risk as a result.
When survey participants were asked to identify the most significant current risks to their organisation’s IT security posture, ‘increased sophistication of attacks’ emerged as the top concern (cited by 60 percent of respondents), followed by ‘increased activity of attackers’ (54 percent), ‘budget constraints’ and ‘larger attack surface from an increasingly borderless business operation’ (both 35 percent).
While a large majority of respondents agree that C-suite and board-level decision-makers understand the current security threats that their business is facing (83 percent), recognise the importance of having a multilayered defense / defence strategy (81 percent), and make protecting the organization an integral part of business operations (80 percent), a significant share of participants (69 percent) are also concerned that current budget constraints are limiting the use of new strategies, technologies and implementation practices.
A sizable majority of survey participants (85 percent) reported that hybrid working has increased their organization’s reliance on third-party providers for outsourcing staff and resources, and more than three quarters (78 percent) of these professionals believe this development has left their organization more exposed.
With regard to the types of exposure organisations face as a result of increased integration with third-party providers, respondents rated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as the greatest perceived threat (ranked highest by 22 percent), followed by system compromise (20 percent) and ransomware (18 percent). Overall, participants rated ransomware as the top increasing threat vector (75 percent), followed by generalised phishing (74 percent), DDoS attacks (72 percent), and targeted hacking and social engineering via email (both 71 percent).
During the two-month survey period, respondents reported focusing most on increasing their ability to respond to DDoS attacks (54 percent), vendor or customer impersonation (54 percent), and targeted hacking (52 percent).
The NISC survey participants were senior information technology and security professionals from across six EMEA and US markets. The survey was conducted in November 2022 and reflects respondents’ activity and concerns during September and October 2022.