A new independent study, The Cyber Resilient Organization: Learning to Thrive Against Threats, from privacy and information security research firm Ponemon Institute, benchmarks U.S. organizations’ Cyber Resilience and gives them ways to improve and measure their Cyber Resilience over time. The study reveals that 75 percent of U.S. organizations are not prepared to respond to cyberattacks, leaving them more vulnerable than ever against increasing intensity and volume of security breaches. Improving Cyber Resilience is found to be the most potent weapon organizations have in prevailing against the mounting threats they face.

This industry-first report – authored by Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute with founding sponsor Resilient Systems, the leading Incident Response Platform (IRP) provider –surveyed more than 600 IT and security executives about their organizations’ approaches to becoming more resilient in the face of increasingly problematic and frequent cyberattacks. The respondents comprised a wide range of senior security professionals across several verticals, including financial services, healthcare, government, technology, and manufacturing.

Key findings from the new study include:

Attaining Cyber Resilience is critical to achieving business goals
Ninety-one percent said Cyber Resilience is essential to protecting intellectual property, while 90 percent said it is required for minimizing non-compliance with regulations and obligations
However, the current state of Cyber Resilience for these organizations needs immediate improvement
Only 25 percent believe that their organization is truly cyber resilient
Only 32 percent feel that they can properly recover from a cyberattack
The vast majority also believe that they lack the proper tools and infrastructure to prevent attacks in the first place
The majority of organizations are not prepared to respond to the next wave of cyberattacks and threats
Only 30 percent of respondents have a proper, modern Cyber Security Incident Response Plan (CSIRP) in place
Only 17 percent have a well-defined CSIRP that is applied consistently across their organization
Human error is the enemy of Cyber Resilience
Revealed to be the top culprit in preventing organizations from achieving Cyber Resilience
Lack of collaboration across business functions makes organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks
One-third (32 percent) of respondents stated that collaboration between business functions was poor or non-existent, and had a direct negative impact on their organization’s level of Cyber Resilience
Preparedness and agility are most important to improving levels of Cyber Resilience
Sixty-five percent of respondents stated that their organizations have not devoted the necessary time and resources for planning and preparing for the next wave of cyberattacks
More than half (55 percent) believe their organization lacks sufficient risk awareness, analysis, and assessments in combating those cyberattacks
“We found that Cyber Resilience is now the number one goal for security teams across these organizations, but they must adopt new technologies, improve collaboration across business functions, and have proper CSIRPs in place, among other things, before they can attain that goal,” said Ponemon. “Until then, their organizations remain extremely vulnerable to the next wave of cyberattacks from increasingly sophisticated and determined hackers.”

“We are honored to be partners with the Ponemon Institute, a prestigious independent research firm, on this critically important study. Cyber Resilience requires businesses to align prevention, detection, and response efforts – and it’s clear companies need help practicing and provisioning for their response to cyberattacks,” said John Bruce, CEO and Co-Founder of Resilient Systems. “By proactively ensuring their people, processes, and technologies are equipped for response, businesses can be confident that they’ll thrive despite growing cyber threats.”

Further insight and commentary from Bruce Schneier, Resilient Systems CTO, and Larry Ponemon can be found in a newly recorded webinar, “The Road to Cyber Resilience,” which explores the findings of the report.

About the Ponemon Institute:

The 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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