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More Than Half of Organizations with Cybersecurity Incident Response Plans Fail to Test Them


IBM Security has announced the results of a global study exploring organizations' preparedness when it comes to withstanding and recovering from a cyberattack.

The study found that a majority of organizations are still unprepared to properly respond to cybersecurity incidents, with 77% of respondents indicating they do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan applied consistently across the enterprise.

While studies show that companies who can respond quickly and efficiently to contain a cyberattack within 30 days save over $1 million on the total cost of a data breach on average,1 shortfalls in proper cybersecurity incident response planning have remained consistent over the past four years of the study.

Of the organizations surveyed that do have a plan in place, more than half (54%) do not test their plans regularly, which can leave them less prepared to effectively manage the complex processes and coordination that must take place in the wake of an attack.

The difficulty cybersecurity teams are facing in implementing a cyber security incident response plan has also impacted businesses' compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Nearly half of respondents (46%) say their organization has yet to realize full compliance with GDPR, even as the one-year anniversary of the legislation quickly approaches.   For the first time, this year's study measured the impact of automation on cyber resilience. In the context of this research, automation refers to enabling security technologies that augment or replace human intervention in the identification and containment of cyber exploits or breaches. These technologies depend upon artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics and orchestration.

When asked if their organization leveraged automation, only 23% of respondents said they were significant users, whereas 77% reported their organizations only use automation moderately, insignificantly or not at all. Organizations with the extensive use of automation rate their ability to prevent (69% vs. 53%), detect (76% vs. 53%), respond (68% vs. 53%) and contain (74% vs. 49%) a cyberattack as higher than the overall sample of respondents.

"The 2019 Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization" study was conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of IBM (www.ibm.com).


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