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January 11, 2013

Cyber Threats and New Technologies Give Rise to Information Security Awareness

In the past few years, businesses have focused more and more on information security and compliance. In 2013, however, the focus is shifting more toward cyber resilience according to the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Global Security Study, highlighting key findings released by The Deloitte (News - Alert) Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), a UK private company that provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to clients of different industries.

According to the study, which focused on providing TMT companies insight into the security problems they may face as an industry, indicated that in 2013, businesses will implement some form of security strategy and roadmap to improve information security awareness to keep data, applications and devices secure while being able to deter future attacks, prevent hacking and online threats made by cyber criminals.

The report, which interviewed top security executives of TMT organizations, showed there is a major concern in all corners of the computing world, right now, for cyber threats. They reveal a “significant shift” in the growing importance of security to protect against growing cyber threats as it has become a business issue and concern.

Many TMT companies, but not all, have devoted much attention to information security issues with training and awareness, but according to Irfan Saif, a principal with Deloitte's Security and Privacy practice, based in Silicon Valley, they are now viewing security as a “value-driver for the business and a marketplace differentiator.” He explains that in order to mitigate cyber risks, TMT clients will need to shift their strategies to keep abreast the latest security threats.

The report (which can be read here) points out potential problems in the approach businesses have with information security. The first important point regards employees’ awareness and the need of training to lower risks. Also, the study presented significant new security challenges and risks that lie ahead that TMT organizations will face.

The survey addressed a problem in the perception that some TMT executives’ IT infrastructures are vulnerable in protecting against external threats: Of the 120 security executives interviewed in 38 countries for the study, 88 percent of them did not believe their company was vulnerable to threats, but more than half of them revealed they had experienced some security threat in 2012.

A sure problem identified by the study is the lack of a response plan to implement the necessary and helpful tools and instruments to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight or prevent further cybercrime activities.

More than half of the companies surveyed revealed that only 39 percent of the TMT executives collected intelligence information on attacks specific to their field.

Other major threats identified by the survey respondents included lack of third-party attention to security, denial of service attacks and human errors.

Additional threats discovered were, interestingly, technology innovations and their use by employees that lack security awareness: Problems like phishing, confidentiality breaches, and unauthorized admission of people in the company’s facilities are seen as the result of not having employees with sufficient security awareness.

Also, companies’ policies are not being updated as fast as technology grows: for example, only half of the surveyed organizations have policies that regulate use of mobile devices. This is a problem considering the widespread use of smartphones and tablets. By adequately implementing security policies, the company has presented good practices toward a cyber-security strategy.

As innovative technology is made available, new security risks tend to arise and ways in finding how to maintain and strengthen security comes of importance in strengthening cyber resiliency through strategic security initiatives, alliances and additional training in 2013.

Even though it may be not always possible for employees to move as quickly in learning how to defend themselves and their systems, the TMT clients have recognized the importance of maintaining adequate security of its IT infrastructure, as shown in the survey.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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