Uh-Oh: Nearly 60% of Canadian IT Teams Don’t Think They Can Stop Data Theft

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In one of the more optimistic stories of the day, nearly three in every five Canadian IT professionals don’t feel that they can stop data theft.

The new data comes from “Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: A Canadian Perspective” from Websense, Inc. a global leader in protecting organizations from the latest cyber attacks and data theft which is located in San Diego, California. 

 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.

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. 47 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.

“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 behaviour.”

One rather frightening insight was the disconnect among executives between company data and loss of money. 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.

“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.”

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is Managing Editor at Betakit. Prior to Betakit Joseph wrote for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.