Security 'Health of the Nation' Survey Results | Infographic

April 30, 2018
US Signal | Misc


The results of US Signal's 2018 Security ‘Health of the Nation’ survey revealed that 81 percent of organizations witnessed an increase in cybersecurity challenges in the past year. In addition, 40 percent of respondents experienced at least one security incident in that time period, and 13 percent did not know if they had. Based on these results, it is clear that most organizations are still vulnerable to security threats.

Nearly 120 security experts from a cross-section of organizations including technology, healthcare, education, food services and logistics, offered insights into the security health of their companies via SurveyTown. After 12 months of major hacks like the Equifax breach, the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware outbreaks and the Spectre and Meltdown flaws in Intel chips, the findings reflect this surge in threats and demonstrate a need for stronger investment and education.

Respondents’ top three security challenges ranked as:

1) Protecting against email-related threats like ransomware, malware and phishing
2) Transitioning legacy systems that no longer receive security updates
3) Ensuring the company is always up to date with patches and current software versions

These findings imply users still do not understand email security best practices and that many organizations could benefit from increased phishing and internet safety education programs. It is also evident that patches and updates are now top of mind, as many of the last year’s biggest breaches relied on the exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities.

The survey also found businesses stay on top of emerging threats and solutions in a variety of ways: nearly 60 percent rely on a small internal IT team, 50 percent work with an IT service provider, 27 percent employ a security team, 21 percent invest heavily in new technologies, and alarmingly, 4 percent simply do nothing.

Security investment levels also varied. Roughly one-third of organizations think they invest the correct amount of money annually, and another third believes they need to spend more. This finding is especially interesting as the May 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline approaches, applicable to all businesses that interact with EU citizen data. Nearly half of the respondents are unsure if GDPR affects their company or said they would not be ready to comply when it goes into effect on May 25, while the other half are more confident in their preparations.

“Knowing how real and damaging the threats are, organizations need to reinforce their security postures by educating employees about vulnerabilities like email phishing and ensuring IT teams are deploying software patches to protect their sensitive data from attacks,” said Trevor Bidle, data protection officer and information security and compliance officer at US Signal. “Companies must invest in the right talent and solutions to meet strict regulations like GDPR and defend against threats like non-recoverable ransomware variants that target unpatched systems.”

US Signal develops and delivers end-to-end IT solutions, ranging from connectivity to data protection and disaster recovery, that leverage companies’ existing IT investments, integrate new technologies and capitalize on emerging innovations to help customers meet their current and future business needs — no matter how complex they may be.

In the security space, the US Signal Monitoring and Management service provides customers with 24/7 monitoring, technical remediation, patch management, automation and virus protection for all covered endpoints. During the remote monitoring and management (RMM) deployment, companies work with US Signal’s hands-on services team to deploy software agents, adjust monitoring thresholds, determine patching schedules and automate common maintenance tasks - saving time, money and their businesses from breach crises.