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A look at different findings from a recent cybersecurity survey by Kaspersky Lab makes quite clear some of the areas that continue to be a challenge for businesses when it comes to their organization’s state of security.

The survey conducted reveals the current state of security threats among businesses and how their perception compares to the reality of cybersecurity incidents experienced over the past year.  With a good idea of what continues to create insecurity, businesses have a chance to get a head start on next year’s security plan.

The first finding worth mentioning that might not come as a surprise is the fact that cyberattacks aren’t uncommon to businesses, but you might be surprised to know that businesses in North America suffered more data breaches.

  • In the last 12 months on a global scale Kaspersky Lab’s survey revealed that 43% of businesses experienced data loss as a result of breach. When narrowing in on North America cyberattacks the survey found that companies are significantly less protected against attacks compared to businesses worldwide.
  • 44% of businesses in North America suffered four or more data breaches in the past 12 months alone.  This is double the amount that businesses worldwide suffered, which was 20%.

Second on the list for review is the fact that employees are a top concern for businesses and a leading cause of successful cyberattacks.

  • The top causes of the most serious data breaches experienced by businesses in North America were careless/uninformed employee actions (59%) and phishing/social engineering (56%).

If businesses continue to ignore educating employees on company policies and procedures for navigating security threats while at work, these types of insider risks won’t decrease anytime soon.

Third on the list from the survey’s findings is that businesses continue to face challenges with mobile security.  Kaspersky Lab’s survey found that six out of ten typical vulnerable areas are directly related to a fear of data loss, but that the most frequent point of vulnerability is inappropriate usage or sharing data via mobile devices.

  • 52% of businesses in North America face challenges understanding how to address this threat.

So even though 32% of businesses in North America confirm an increase in the number of smartphones this past year, it is one of the areas that they continue to feel totally unprotected from.

  • More than half (52%) of businesses in North America admit to being least protected against mobile security threats, such as inappropriate usage or sharing data via mobile devices.

From these three findings alone, it’s safe to say that there’s plenty of room for improvement in the year to come.  It is quite clear that no business is immune to breach, not even a small business that thinks they don’t have any data worth stealing.

The first step business executives need to take is to stop looking for one-stop solutions and to remember that security technology can only take you so far.  With businesses in North America being breached four or more times this past year alone, a holistic security approach continues to be ignored.  If this doesn’t change, the state of security for businesses won’t either.

The second step, easily implementable for any business, is to not only educate employees on security policies and procedures, but to also create a company culture around security.  Without this change no business can expect employees, who don’t think about security in their day to day, to naturally pick up habits that create a more secure behavior when accessing company sensitive data.

As for mobile security, this one will get tougher and tougher as today’s mobile devices go through their own evolution; but one of the first things businesses can start with is identifying who has access to what and limit the type of access granted, particularly when on a mobile device that is not connected to the company network.

The year ahead will surely go through some amazing changes as we advance in technology and digital connectedness, with what we know today though, we can make tomorrow better and more secure.

Take your cybersecurity very seriously, not because of the stats on this survey or that, but because of the importance your business and customers have and because you care about staying in business.  Surveys like the one by Kaspersky Lab can help you identify something that your business is having a challenge with and let you know that you’re not alone.  Then there’s us, NCX Group, here to help if you need someone to get you on track with security in this very digital world.

Schedule your free cybersecurity consultation and get your questions answered.


Photo Courtesy of Olivier Le Moal