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60% of Organizations Believe They Can't Stop Data Theft

New Ponemon Institute survey suggests key cybersecurity deficits, disconnects and low attack visibility

Larry Ponemon
Chairman and Founder
Ponemon Institute

Websense, Inc. released the first report of the Ponemon Institute survey, "Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: A Canadian Perspective," uncovering the deficient, disconnected and in-the-dark realities that challenge IT security professionals. The new survey of nearly 240 Canadian IT security professionals reveals a deficit in enterprise security systems, a disconnect in how confidential data is valued and limited visibility into cybercriminal activity. The report gives new insight into why cybercriminals have a foothold in the broader Canadian enterprise.

"Canadian businesses are lacking the proper tools to protect against cyber attacks," said Fiaaz Walji, Websense Canadian Country Manager. "This report reveals a widening gap in solution effectiveness, attack intelligence and security-related communications and education. Companies need to invest in real-time solutions that provide visibility and attack intelligence as well as employee security education methods to promote cooperation and reduce high-risk behavior."

The "Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: A Canadian Perspective" report surveyed nearly 240 IT and IT security practitioners in Canada with an average of nine years' experience in the field. In addition to Canada, this research was also conducted in 14 other countries – United States, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Mexico and Brazil[1]. Top Canadian findings include:

Deficient in Security Solution Effectiveness

Fifty-six percent of respondents do not think their organization is protected from advanced cyber attacks and 59 percent doubt they can stop the exfiltration of confidential information.
Most respondents (56 percent) believe cybersecurity threats sometimes fall through the cracks of their companies' existing security systems.
Thirty-six percent of companies represented in this research experienced one or more substantial cyber attacks in the past year.
Forty-seven percent of companies do not have adequate intelligence or are unsure about attempted attacks and their impact. Further, 39 percent say their security solutions do not inform them about the root causes of an attack or they are unsure.
Disconnect on the Perceived Value of Confidential Data

According to respondents, there is a gap between data breach perception and reality – specifically regarding the potential revenue loss to their business. Seventy-seven percent of respondents say their company's leaders do not equate losing confidential data with a potential loss of revenue.
This is in contrast to recent Ponemon Institute research, which indicates that data breaches have serious financial consequences for organizations. The average cost per lost or stolen record due to a data breach is $188 USD and the average cost of an organizational data breach is $5.4 million USD.

Fifty percent say their board-level executives have a sub-par understanding of security issues. However, we believe that cybersecurity awareness has most likely increased from that of a few years ago.

Limited Visibility Into Cybercriminal Activity

Less than half of the respondents (43 percent) believe they have a good understanding about the threat landscape facing their company.

Only 29 percent of respondents could say with certainty that their organization lost sensitive or confidential information as a result of a cyber attack.

Twenty-seven percent of those who had lost sensitive or confidential information did not know exactly what data had been stolen.

"The report's findings expose significant cracks in the cyber security defenses for Canadian businesses," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "This theme was consistent globally and is a wake-up call for the security industry to re-valuate their current security architecture and approach to employee education. Change is imminent if we are to stay a step ahead of today's sophisticated data stealing attacks."

In addition to the survey results, the report also includes conclusions drawn from the data and recommendations for addressing the exposed cracks in current cybersecurity measures. A full copy of the report, including survey methodology and consolidated results is available at http://www.websense.com/assets/reports/report-ponemon-2014-part1-summary-canada-en.pdf. To learn how Websense provides the industry's most advanced threat identification capabilities please visit www.websense.com/triton.

About Websense, Inc.
Websense, Inc. is a global leader in protecting organizations from the latest cyber attacks and data theft. Websense TRITON comprehensive security solutions unify web security, email security, mobile security and data loss prevention (DLP) at the lowest total cost of ownership. More than 11,000 enterprises rely on Websense TRITON security intelligence to stop advanced persistent threats, targeted attacks and evolving malware. Websense prevents data breaches, intellectual property theft and enforces security compliance and best practices. A global network of channel partners distributes scalable, unified appliance- and cloud-based Websense TRITON solutions.

Websense TRITON stops more threats; visit www.websense.com/proveit to see proof. To access the latest Websense security insights and connect through social media, please visit www.websense.com/smc.

About Ponemon Institute
Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.

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