Companies Worldwide Lack Awareness of Cyber Threats

22 Nov 2012
Virus News

Statistics indicate an overall lack of awareness of IT security issues among businesses - even in developed countries. Around 50% of companies globally, and an even greater percentage in the USA are in general unaware of, and don’t take effective measures against, the most pressing cyber threats that exist today.

According to a survey on global IT security risks conducted by B2B International on behalf of Kaspersky Lab, half of the companies surveyed around the world were not knowledgeable about the security threats they may face. This results in a lack of resources put into gaining relevant knowledge, into IT security systems, and into IT department staffing, all of which reduce the ability to cope with cyber security threats; this was admitted by 58% of the IT professionals surveyed. One of the main problems is a lack of a clear understanding among senior managers of the reasons why IT departments exist – that is, their objectives and the reasoning behind them.

Another serious problem highlighted in the survey was generally insufficient numbers of personnel trained to deal with IT threats. This issue was cited by 35% of those surveyed, and was particularly prevalent in North America. But the problem cannot be dealt with simply by hiring new employees; existing staff also need to be educated. The survey shows that a significant number of key IT specialists in companies worldwide are not aware of any of the most common cyber threats - including those targeting the corporate sector. 31% of respondents admitted that they had never heard of any of the cyber epidemics that recently posed direct threats to their organizations.

This is compounded by a low level of computer literacy among employees, which can lead to confidential information leakages, and to the infection – or even total disablement – of a company’s IT infrastructure. That’s why teaching company personnel the basics of IT security is no less important than installing the latest security software.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and Co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, said: “Companies shouldn’t underestimate global cyber threats. This issue has started to be taken seriously of late, and businesses have begun to worry, leading to increases in the number of IT staff working specifically in IT security (now about 40% of IT staff in companies all around the world). However, IT security staff are not always sufficiently trained and competent to protect businesses from the most pertinent threats. This is why our goal, as a leader in the IT security industry, is not only to produce solutions, but also to raise awareness. Increasing the level of computer literacy among staff is an essential element of security, while senior management needs to be fully aware of the potential consequences of cyber threats, and understand that reliable protection of the corporate network is vital in ensuring the effective development of a company’s IT infrastructure. Through our global education projects we promote the importance of IT security - its importance not only to individual companies, but to whole economies. Cyber criminals can destroy the normal business environment; they could prevent future global development and bring on economic and even political collapse. We are here to stop this happening, and are confident of doing so.”

The Global IT Security Risks survey, released in July 2012, canvassed more than 3,300 senior IT professionals from 22 countries who influence IT security policy and also have a good grounding in general business matters. The study gathered their views on the major issues facing the industry. Respondents represented companies of all sizes – small, medium and large – from all over the globe.

To download the full report on the B2B International survey, please click here.

To learn more about the ground-breaking features of Kaspersky Lab’s corporate IT security solutions, please visit www.kaspersky.com/beready.

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