Security

Report: Nearly half of all enterprises were hacked in the last 12 months

The survey found that organizations that did report a breach in the last year had been hacked an average of 30 times.

The daily stream of stories about companies being hacked and having information stolen is not just having an effect on consumer confidence. A recent survey by SailPoint and Vanson Bourne found that organizations are suffering in a number of different ways from the constant barrage of cyberattacks.

The researchers highlighted that, of the 400 IT decision-makers surveyed, 44% worked for organizations that had suffered from a hack in the last 12 months and the breaches had cost their companies nearly $1 million on average. SailPoint said this figure did not even include fines, brand damage, and lost revenue.

Even more worrying were the number of organizations that did not know if they had been attacked in the last year or not, which stood at an astounding 9%.

SEE: Information security policy (Tech Pro Research)

SailPoint's Juliette Rizkallah wrote that this was alarming considering some of the other statistics found in the report. Of the organizations that had been hacked in the last 12 months, on average they suffered 29 hacks a year.

"While the price tag that a cybersecurity attack comes with and the number of cyberattacks that we are seeing today has become our new reality, what did surprise me coming out of our poll was the number of respondents who actually did not know if they had experienced a cyberattack at all," Rizkallah wrote.

Rizkallah then added: "This signals a glaring lack of visibility across the organization. It should go without saying, but it could not be more important for enterprises to have crystal clear visibility into their users and what access they have to applications and data."

The frequency of hacking attempts is putting a strain on IT leaders tasked with keeping their organization safe against a variety of well-equipped bad actors. But the price for not protecting data and systems is severe, and one most companies are not willing to pay.

"IT leaders face an uphill battle. Hackers are increasingly more sophisticated and more organised, and governments are adding new layers of complexity with regulations like GDPR," Paul Trulove, chief product officer of SailPoint, said in a press release. "Yesterday's security strategies are simply not sufficient to address these security and compliance requirements."

SEE: Can Russian hackers be stopped? Here's why it might take 20 years (TechRepublic cover story) | download the PDF version

In addition to guarding against hacks, the study also highlighted that many companies were worried about maintaining compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which recently came into effect in the EU, and said it was putting a strain on their IT efforts, too.

Those surveyed intimated that compliance was difficult and costly if not done correctly. Many companies are terrified of the "4 percent of global annual revenue" penalty for non compliance but struggle to grow an organizational understanding of digital best practices, both for safety and compliance, the survey found.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • A survey of 400 IT professionals found that 44% of organizations had suffered from a hack in the last 12 months.
  • Companies that had been hacked lost, on average, $1 million in the last 12 months, and suffered a total of 29 hacks per year.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Suebsiri

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

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