Security professionals tasked with managing enterprise networks are most worried about the risks posed by mobile devices, according to a new survey by the Ponemon Institute.
After polling 676 security practitioners with involvement in endpoint security, Ponemon found that 75% of the respondents identified mobile devices such as smart phones as “the greatest risk of potential IT security risk within the IT environment.”
The study, commissioned by Lumension, confirmed that managing risk at the endpoint layer is “more difficult than ever” with 71% of the security professionals saying the security threats created by vulnerabilities to the endpoint have becomemore difficult to stop or mitigate.
According to the survey, 68 percent say their mobile devices have been targeted by malware in the last 12 months, yet 46 percent of respondents say they do not manage employee-owned mobile devices.
Another big headache heading into 2014 is the issue of APTs (advanced persistent threats) or targeted attacks using customized malware. The Ponemon study found that 39% of those surveyed report APTs as one of their most concerning risks, up 55 percent from 2009.
While 40% report they were a victim of a targeted attack in the last year, another 25% say they aren’t sure if they have been, revealing many organizations don’t have security mechanisms in place to detect such an attack.
The respondents also report the volume of malware continues to be an escalating problem. More than 40% said they experienced more than 50 malware attacks a month, up 15 percent from those that reported that amount three years ago.
Although there is a recognition that malware attacking the endpoint should be a top priority, the security pros report that budgets are still lagging behind. In the past 24 months, the Ponemon study found that only 29% reporting that spending has either significantly increased or increased for endpointsecurity during that time.
“Malware incidents are straining IT security budgets,” it said. About 50% of respondents say their organization’s IT operating expenses are increasing and this is an increase from 46 percent of respondents in 2012. Almost 70% said malware incidents contributed a very significant or significant increase in these expenses, up slightly from 64 percent in 2012.
Ryan is the host of the podcast series “Security Conversations – a podcast with Ryan Naraine”. He is the head of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research & Analysis team in the USA and has extensive experience in computer security user education, specializing in operating system and third-party application vulnerabilities, zero-day attacks, social engineering and social networking threats. Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab, he monitored security and hacker attack trends for over 10 years, writing for eWEEK magazine and the ZDNet Zero Day blog. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.Previous Columns by Ryan Naraine:Survey Says: Mobile Devices Biggest Risk in 2014Podcast: A Peek at the World of Android BotnetsApple Plugs Gaping Holes in Safari BrowserMassive Android Mobile Botnet Hijacking SMS DataArbor Networks: Beware of Bitcoin Alarm Utility
Tags: Desktop Security