Firms Struggle to Respond to Security Incidents

By Tony Kontzer  |  Posted 2014-03-18 Email Print this article Print

An organization's response in the first hours after a security incident can determine whether a cyber-attacker is caught—or even detected. In other words: You snooze, you lose. That makes the findings of the latest study from the Ponemon Institute, "Threat Intelligence & Incident Response," that much more disheartening. Ponemon, which conducted the research independently for security software provider AccessData, surveyed more than 1,000 IT and information security pros in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The upshot of the research? Organizations are finding that their incident response technologies, threat intelligence and security staff's skill sets are all deficient in ways that undermine efforts to respond to cyber-attacks. "Building and managing a company's cyber-defense is very hard to get right because of insufficient funding, personnel shortages, organizational silos and complexity of enabling technologies," says Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute. "The attacker is getting smarter, is better funded and is operating in greater stealth." Following are 10 highlights culled from the report.

Tony has been writing about technology and business for nearly 20 years and currently freelances from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having spent the dot-com boom and bust years in Silicon Valley, he's had a front-row seat for the evolution of the technologies that have been the foundation of IT-powered business—from the growth of client/server computing, through the birth of the commercial Internet, to the emergence of cloud computing and social media. He has been a regular contributor to CIO Insight and Baseline Magazine since 2007, and he posts frequently on CIO Insight's BizTech 3.0 blog. A 1988 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, Tony spends his spare time relaxing with his wife, playing with his two sons, tinkering around his home in Albany, Calif., and, when time allows, playing saxophone and traveling. His somewhat infrequent Twitter posts can be found at

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