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Fortinet Surveys Reveal Growing Cyber Threat Concerns as More Consumers Fear Data Breaches, while CSOs Lack Confidence in their Ability to Stop Them
Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 02:18:02 PM
 

Fortinet

Despite their Concerns, Third-party Studies Reveal Consumer Behaviors May Present Greater Challenges for Organizations that don’t have the Right Security Protections in Place

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 20, 2015 – Two new industry surveys commissioned by Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT) – a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, reveal the majority of consumers across the U.S. (71 percent) are more nervous about their personal information being stolen through a data breach than they were just a year ago, and only 28 percent of IT security professionals are confident they have done enough to prevent a security incident. Despite this shift in consumer sentiment, the research revealed consumers are not taking necessary precautions to protect their personal information. When asked what measures they are implementing to better safeguard their information online, the majority (76 percent) of respondents said they had merely implemented stronger passwords – a step that is typically required when setting up an online account. A significant 20 percent said they aren’t doing anything at all.

It is no question the cyber threat environment remains dynamic and dangerous, and is gaining in severity. According to a recent report released by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), companies in the U.S. experienced a record-breaking 783 data breaches in 2014. Already in 2015 this trend has continued with the Anthem Health security breach - the largest in history, affecting more than 80 million of its customers, as well as Sony, TV Monde and others. Many of these attacks were initiated by sophisticated hackers looking for ways to circumvent perimeter defenses through compromised devices, while others originated from within the network through unsuspecting employees or partners who, without malicious intent, let cyber criminals in.

“The amount of entry points cyber criminals can use to infiltrate corporate networks and steal precious information is growing rapidly, as the number of devices connected to the network increase,” said Andrew Del Matto, chief financial officer at Fortinet. “If consumers aren’t taking precautions to protect their devices and proprietary data in their personal lives, it is unlikely they are doing so at work, increasing the possibility of a breach. It is more critical now than ever before for businesses to help safeguard the consumer and customer data for which they are responsible. They must take a multi-layered approach to security to protect against both malicious and non-malicious threats, from both inside and outside of the network.”

Most Consumers Trust No One When It Comes to Protecting Personal Information

On a scale of one-to-five with one being “completely trust” and five being “don’t trust at all,” consumers were asked how much they trust various business providers and other institutions to protect their information. The survey found:

  • Only 31 percent of consumers completely trust their doctors
  • Only 18 percent completely trust their health insurance providers
  • Only 27 percent completely trust their personal banks
  • Only 14 percent completely trust their credit card companies
  • Only 19 percent completely trust their employers
  • And only 4 percent completely trust retailers

Are Organizations Doing Enough?

In a survey of 250 IT professionals with authority over the security decisions for their organizations, more than half (57 percent) indicated they are most concerned about protecting customer data from cyber criminals. Only 28 percent of those surveyed, however, are completely confident their organizations have done everything possible to prevent a security incident, and 26 percent said they were only half-confident that they have taken the necessary measures to protect their organization from potential risk.

“Consumers are more concerned than ever about their personal information being compromised through a data breach, with good reason,” said Derek Manky, senior security strategist at Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs. “The evolving threat landscape puts everyone at greater risk, particularly organizations that aren’t taking the time to rethink their approach to security. An old school approach won’t do. Businesses should seek out a best-of-breed security partner with scale, third-party validated solutions and access to the most up-to-date threat intelligence, to safeguard their networks from threats, no matter the type or where it is initiated, today and in the future.”

Survey Methodology

Research for the Cyber Security Consumer Trust survey was conducted by GMI, a division of Lightspeed Research, a leading provider of technology enabled solutions and online responses for global market research. The survey collected more than 1,000 responses from consumers across the U.S. during the month of April, 2015.

Research for the IT Security professional Cyber Security Trust survey was conducted by CSO Strategic Marketing Services, an IDG Enterprise brand. The poll surveyed 250 IT professionals responsible for their network security decisions, from across the U.S., UK and Hong Kong/Singapore, during the month of March, 2015.

 
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