2018 Security Threat Report: Assessing Nine Years of Cyber Security
Internal Audit, Risk, Business & Technology Consulting
Finding the right words to describe the magnitude of cyber security today is like trying to define the size and splendor of the Grand Canyon to someone unfamiliar with the natural wonder of the world. News of massive data breaches continues to make headlines. Among the largest breaches to date, one of the major consumer credit reporting agencies announced last year that hackers accessed its store of Social Security numbers, driver’s license data, birth dates and other personal information on more than 140 million consumers. A decade ago, such news would have been unimaginable. But sadly, over the last several months, disclosures of significant cyber security breaches have become routine as organizations increasingly rely on vulnerable digital technologies and third-party service providers.
At the same time, cyber criminals are becoming more creative and sophisticated. New cyber threats emerge daily that put any number of business systems at risk, and companies face a monumental challenge to keep pace with the threats and safeguard their data, particularly their “crown jewels.” It’s no surprise that cyber security is the chief concern not only for CIOs and IT departments, but also for executive-level management and boards of directors.
This report aims to help organizations address and understand the cyber security landscape by exploring and detailing the most common digital threats today. Since 2009, Protiviti security labs in the United States have performed more than 500 in-depth security scans on behalf of a broad range of organizations to test and assess their IT systems and infrastructure for cyber security risks. Keeping the organizations anonymous, we have compiled and quantified the vulnerability and threat discoveries in our data, offering insights and trends regarding the types of threats organizations are most likely to face, the most frequently perpetrated cyber crimes, the recent acceleration of attacks, and trends in cyber attacks by industry and size, among other views.
In addition, we provide insight into the root causes underlying the vulnerabilities and practical guidance on how companies can protect their information.
In these times of digital treachery, we hope you find this report useful
Key calls to action we define include:
01 Strong permission and user access controls
02 Employee security awareness
03 Patch management
04 System configuration management
05 Periodic penetration testing
About Our Study
We compiled the data, analyses and trends presented in this report by reviewing information from security vulnerability scans of IT systems of more than 500 organizations in a broad range of industries. Over a nine-year period, Protiviti’s security experts were engaged by these companies to scan their networks, detect vulnerabilities, and help fix issues and establish proper mechanisms for monitoring and prevention. This data has been aggregated and analyzed into data points that we believe are both informative and useful for those trying to safeguard their systems.
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