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Practitioners Give Global Cybersecurity a “C” According to New Research from Tenable Network Security

November 17, 2015

Columbia, MD

International survey of information security professionals identifies cloud, mobile devices and board-level involvement as common areas of weakness across seven key industry verticals

Tenable Network Security®, Inc., the leader in continuous network monitoring™, today released findings from the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, in which the world’s information security practitioners gave global cybersecurity readiness a “C” average with an overall score of 76 percent.

The 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card tallied responses from six countries and seven industry verticals, and also calculated a global score reflecting the overall confidence levels of security practitioners that the world’s cyber defenses are meeting expectations.

According to survey data, global cybersecurity earned an overall score of 76 percent—an underwhelming “C” average. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they feel “about the same” or “more pessimistic” about their organizations’ ability to defend against cyber attacks compared to last year. When asked about the biggest challenges facing them today, the practitioners cited an overwhelming threat environment as the biggest challenge, while reporting relative confidence in the effectiveness of cybersecurity products.

“What this tells me is that while security innovations solve specific new challenges, practitioners are struggling to effectively deploy an overarching security strategy without gaps between defenses,” said Ron Gula, CEO, Tenable Network Security. “It’s no surprise that many in the profession feel overwhelmed by the increasingly complex threat environment. The recent, unprecedented cyberattacks have disrupted business for leading global companies, infiltrated governments and shaken confidence among security practitioners. With so much at stake, organizations need to know whether their security programs are effective or if they are falling short.”

Key Global Findings

Cloudy days ahead - Respondents consistently cited cloud applications (graded D+) and cloud infrastructure (D) as two of the three most challenging IT components for assessing cybersecurity risks.

A mobile dilemma - Mobile devices (D) also were reported as particularly challenging when assessing cyber risks. The inability to even detect transient mobile devices in the first place (C) was another big challenge for the world’s security practitioners.

Uninvested board members - On the upside, respondents largely believe they have the tools in place to measure overall security effectiveness (B-) and to convey security risks to executives and board members. On the downside, respondents question whether their executives and board members fully understand those security risks (C+) and are investing enough to mitigate them (C).

Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Country

    • Australia: D+ (69 percent)
    • Canada: C+ (77 percent)
    • Germany: C- (72 percent)
    • Singapore: C- (72 percent)
    • United Kingdom: C (74 percent)
    • United States: B- (80 percent)

    Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Industry

    • Education: D (64 percent)
    • Financial Services: B- (81 percent)
    • Government: D (66 percent)
    • Health Care: C (73 percent)
    • Manufacturing: C (76 percent)
    • Retail: C+ (77 percent)
    • Telecom & Technology: B- (81 percent)

    “These index scores reflect a startling lack of ability to detect and assess cyber risk in both cloud infrastructure and applications as well as mobile devices,” said Gula. “Another concern is the uphill battle security professionals face in mobilizing their organizations’ leadership to prioritize security. There’s a disconnect between the CISO and the boardroom that must be bridged before real progress can be made.”

    Original research for the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card was conducted by CyberEdge Group, a premier research and marketing firm serving the security industry’s top vendors. To view or download the full report, visit http://tenable.com/2016-global-cybersecurity-assurance-report-card/.

    For additional information and deeper insights into what the Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card means for your business, join the “Tenable 2016 Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card: Key Insights and Takeaways“ webinar.

    • AMER webinar: December 1, 2015, 2:00pm EST – Register Now
    • APAC webinar: December 1, 2015, 9:00am HKT – Register Now
    • EMEA webinar: December 2, 2015, 2:00pm GMT – Register Now

    About the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card

    Tenable surveyed 504 IT security professionals employed by organizations with 1,000+ employees in August 2015. A 12-question web-based survey asked respondents to provide a rating on a five-point scale. By adding together the two most-favorable responses (e.g., strongly agree + somewhat agree) for each question, and then averaging together associated responses, two summary indices were derived. The Risk Assessment Index measured an organization’s ability to assess cybersecurity risks across 10 key components of enterprise IT infrastructure. The Security Assurance Index measured an organization’s ability to mitigate threats by investing in security infrastructure fueled by executive and board level commitment. The index scores were averaged to produce the overall report card score for each country and industry. For more information, please visit http://tenable.com/2016-global-cybersecurity-assurance-report-card/

    About Tenable

    Tenable™, Inc. is the Cyber Exposure company. Over 23,000 organizations of all sizes around the globe rely on Tenable to manage and measure their modern attack surface to accurately understand and reduce cyber risk. As the creator of Nessus®, Tenable built its platform from the ground up to deeply understand assets, networks and vulnerabilities, extending this knowledge and expertise into Tenable.io™ to deliver the world’s first platform to provide live visibility into any asset on any computing platform. Tenable customers include more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500, large government agencies and mid-sized organizations across the private and public sectors. Learn more at tenable.com.

    Contact Information:

    Cayla Baker
    [email protected]
    (443) 539-6476