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New Ponemon Institute Survey Reveals Time to Identify Advanced Threats is 98 Days for Financial Services Firms, 197 Days for Retail

May 2015 by Ponemon Institute

Financial Services and Retail organisations agree, advanced threats are the most serious security challenge facing their organisations. Despite the concern, both industries struggle to identify these attacks once they are inside their network, according to a new Ponemon Institute Survey, sponsored by Arbor Networks, a leading provider of DDoS and advanced threat protection solutions for enterprise and service provider networks.

Known as ‘dwell’ time, the time it takes to identify these attacks is 98 days for Financial Services firms, and 197 days for Retail. Despite these results, 58 percent of Financial Services and 71 percent of Retail organisations said they are not optimistic about their ability to improve these results in the coming year. This is alarming considering the number of attacks targeting their networks. Within Financial Services, 83 percent experienced more than 50 attacks per month, while 44 percent of Retail firms did.

“The big takeaway from our research is that more investment is needed in both security operations staff and in security tools, which can help companies efficiently and accurately detect and respond to security incidents,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “The time to detect an advanced threat is far too long; attackers are getting in and staying long enough that the damage caused is often irreparable.”

“It’s time to find a better balance between technology solutions, usability, workflow and the people who use them. As security vendors, we need to help our customers so they can adapt to this new cyber security reality that balances the threats with the people who fight them every day,” said Matthew Moynahan, president of Arbor Networks.

Overview
In the wake of high profile mega breaches, the Ponemon Institute, surveyed Financial Services and Retail firms in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to better understand how they are dealing with attacks targeting their organisations. The survey asked how these organisations manage the explosion in advanced threats and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks targeting their infrastructure; how effective (or not) their IT investments are; and how they are adapting incident response procedures and integrating threat intelligence for better visibility, insight and context.

Key Findings Among Financial Services Firms

Advanced Threats
• 71 percent view technologies that provide intelligence about networks and traffic as most promising at stopping or minimising advance threats during the seven phases of the Kill Chain
• 45 percent have implemented incident response procedures
• 43 percent have established threat sharing with other companies or government entities

DDoS Attacks
• 55 percent consider DDoS attacks as an advanced threat
• 48 percent ‘Strongly Agree’ or ‘Agree’ that they are effective in containing DDoS attacks
• 45 percent have established threat sharing with other companies or government entities to minimise or contain the impact of DDoS attacks

Budgets & Staffing
• Budgets are allocated 40 percent towards Technology; 37 percent to Staffing and 20 percent to Managed Services

Key Findings Among Retail Firms

Advanced Threats
• 64 percent view technologies that provide intelligence about networks and traffic as most promising at stopping or minimising advance threats during the seven phases of the Kill Chain
• 34 percent have implemented incident response procedures
• 17 percent have established threat sharing with other companies or government entities

DDoS Attacks
• 50 percent consider DDoS attacks as an advanced threat
• 39 percent firms ‘Strongly Agree’ or ‘Agree’ that they are effective in containing DDoS attacks
• 13 percent have established threat sharing with other companies or government entities to minimise or contain the impact of DDoS attacks

Budgets & Staffing
• Budgets are allocated 34 percent towards Technology; 27 percent to Staffing and 34 percent to Managed Services.

Research Methodology
• Financial Services Organisations surveyed include 844 IT and IT security practitioners in North America and in 14 countries in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
• Retail organisations surveyed include 675 IT and IT security practitioners in North America and in 14 countries in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
• In both cases, only IT practitioners who are familiar with their companies’ defence against cyber security attacks and have responsibility for directing cyber security activities within the company were selected to participate




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