Security Breaches Multiply across the Globe: Report

The top four countries with organizations most likely to report a data breach over the last 12 months were the US, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, according to a report commissioned by cybersecurity company Armis.

Global organizations are facing an unprecedented level of cyber risk due to blind spots in their environment and that security teams are being overwhelmed with significant amounts of threat intelligence data lacking actionable insights. As a result, 61% of global organizations confirmed they had been breached at least once over the last 12 months, with 31% experiencing multiple breaches during the same period. 

Armis’ 2023 Global Attack Surface Management Research was compiled leveraging insights from IT security and IT decision-makers across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Key findings include:

  • The entire organizational attack surface is not being fully monitored, introducing significant exposures and unseen cybersecurity risks.
  • On an average business day, 55,686 physical and virtual assets are connected to organizational networks. Global respondents shared that only 60% of these assets are monitored, leaving 40% unmonitored. 
  • Employees increasingly are using their own assets in business environments, with clear gaps in the enforcement of BYOD policies: 22% of respondents report having an official BYOD policy that is not enforced across all employees, 23% say they either have guidelines that employees are encouraged to follow or admit they don’t have any policies or guidelines around BYOD. 
  • Organizations, on average, can only account for around 60% of their assets when it comes to knowing things like asset location or the support status of these assets. Forgotten assets, like printers, can introduce critical security gaps – especially if security updates aren’t installed or patches applied. 
  • An influx of data without automation and prioritization of threat intelligence is hindering security and IT pros’ ability to effectively remediate threats to protect the organization.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents report that their cybersecurity team is overwhelmed by cyber threat information. Respondents from Germany (38%) were the most likely to report this. 

Just under half (45%) of those surveyed report using 10 or more different sources to collect data relating to threat intelligence and only between 52% and 57% of the processes relating to threat intelligence are automated on average, meaning that a lot of the work needed to make use of the intelligence is a manual effort. 

Only 58% of the information gathered from threat intelligence sources is actionable, on average. Only 2% of surveyed organizations report that all of the information they gather from threat intelligence sources is actionable. 

Organizations are struggling to effectively manage physical and virtual assets connected to their network using too many tools to effectively action cybersecurity plans.

Global respondents indicated that their organizations use 11 different tools to manage assets connected to their network, while 44% admit to still using manual spreadsheets. 

Employees are able to bypass security and download applications and software onto assets without the knowledge of IT or security teams. Three-quarters (75%) of global organizations report that this happens at least some of the time, with a quarter (25%) reporting that this is happening all the time. Without complete control, management and/or visibility over these assets, organizations are facing even more risk. 

“Our research found that there’s much room for improvement in how global organizations manage their threat landscape,” said Katie Haslett, Research Consultant, Vanson Bourne. “Respondents surveyed for this report agreed with that assessment, sharing that proactively increasing visibility into the attack surface and further defining policies and procedures surrounding virtual and physical assets is an area of growth for their organization.”