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Lack of investments in training and IT holding back cybersecurity maturity

9th Feb 18 10:27 am

51 per cent of enterprises report low maturity of security training

MetricStream, the independent market leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) apps and solutions, announced today the findings of its latest survey, Moving up the IT risk management maturity curve: an in-depth look at how enterprises are managing and mitigating their IT risks. The survey covered 139 respondents from 120+ enterprises and 20 industries across more than six geographic regions to examine the maturity of IT risk management programmes, methods used to assess IT risks, impact of IT regulations, and the role of technology in managing IT risks.

Key findings:

IT GRC solutions as maturity enablers

Respondents were asked to rate their IT risk management maturity on the 5 level Capability Maturity Model Integration Scale (CMMI). 75 per cent of the respondents who have implemented IT GRC solutions reported a CMMI maturity level of 3 or higher. In comparison, only 38 per cent of the respondents who have not implemented IT GRC solutions reported a similar level of maturity – these organisations rely on a combination of spreadsheets, point solutions, and other tools which, going by the survey results, may not be as effective as IT GRC solutions in improving the maturity of IT risk management programmes.

Top IT threats 

The top 5 IT threats and risks that respondents reported in the last two years are malware infections, security breaches, compliance violations and regulatory actions, account phishing, and spoofs of company executives.

Potential vulnerabilities

Respondents reported relatively high levels of maturity (CMMI level 3 or higher) in IT risk identification and assessments, standardised documentation of processes and controls, control design and assessments, and IT risk monitoring and reporting.

However, when it came to IT risk management training, 51 per cent of the respondents, and 52 per cent of those in banking and financial services, reported a CMMI maturity of only level 1 or level 2. This lack of maturity could prove disastrous, as poorly trained employees fall prey more easily to social engineering attacks such as phishing which, in turn, open the door to larger attacks on enterprise security.

Despite these risks—and the fact that account phishing and spoofing were cited among the top 5 enterprise IT threats—it appears that respondents are not investing enough in employee training programmes or better information governance frameworks. Instead, their top three priorities over the next 18 months are investments in IT security solutions, compliance with government regulations, and IT security data aggregation and business reporting through a common application.

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