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New Survey: Biggest Concerns About Securing Digital Infrastructure Include Unsanctioned Apps, Collaboration Platforms, Marketing Technology

SafeGuard Cyber announced the results of a new survey of 600 senior enterprise IT and security professionals. Companies surveyed ranged in size from $100M to more than $1BN in revenue.  

SafeGuard Cyber's Digital Risk Survey was conducted to understand how businesses rate their own security and compliance risks in the new digital reality of the workplace brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents were asked to effectively grade their adaptations to date, articulate what gaps still exist, and explain how they're planning for the future. One-third of respondents reported their entire business process has changed and is still evolving, while 26% said they've rushed certain projects that were scheduled for later.

The study revealed the need to harden unconventional attack vectors in cloud, mobile, and social media technologies.

"Everyone in business understands the pandemic has had a seismic impact, but we were still surprised to learn how vulnerable organizations feel about the digital technologies they've adopted," said Jim Zuffoletti, CEO and Co-founder, SafeGuard Cyber. "Bad actors typically migrate to where the action is, so it makes sense digital communication channels are more likely to be targets. Surprisingly, marketing technologies moved up on the list, and we're seeing more and more concern for executive leaders."

Key findings include:

  • A significant disconnect and tension between the perceived security and compliance needs and the level of organizational planning. Despite perceived digital risk around unsanctioned apps, ransomware attacks, and varying tech stacks, only 18% of respondents reported cybersecurity as being a board-level concern.
  • 57% of those surveyed cited internal collaboration platforms -- like Microsoft Teams and Slack -- as the tech stack representing the most risk, followed closely by marketing technologies at 41%.
  • 1 in 4 respondents reported Executives' personal social media as being an area of risk.
  • The biggest security and compliance challenge is the use of unsanctioned apps (52%), followed by trying to monitor business communications in multi-regional environments (43%), suggesting global enterprises are seeing more friction in scaling technologies for the digital workspace.
  • When it comes to purchasing new technology, 59% cite budget as the top concern, followed very closely by "impact on business outcomes" like revenue growth and agility (56%).

Larry Pfeifer, founder of Consortium Networks agreed, saying, "With the new work paradigm, there's been a huge uptake in mobile use to get the job done. The rapid adoption of apps, such as LinkedIn and Slack, are causing gaps in visibility, compliance, and security. The industry-first integration between SafeGuard Cyber and Crowdstrike extends security beyond the endpoint and enables us to serve our customers in the comprehensive manner necessary for today's work-from-anywhere model."

Davis Hake, Co-Founder of Resilience and, reviewed the survey findings and concurred, "Incidents of business email compromise skyrocketed last year according to the FBI, with losses doubling from 2018 to reach $1.3B, but we know that with a move to remote work during the pandemic, cyber criminals aren't just targeting email, they are increasingly targeting the digital collaboration platforms that are keeping our economy afloat. SafeGuard's ability to provide visibility and protection to these platforms makes them an excellent partner for Resilience."

Enterprises are juggling the twin demands of budget constraints and the need to drive business outcomes.

"With the pandemic's disruption to fundamental operations," said Otavio Freire, CTO and Co-founder, SafeGuard Cyber, "Simply saying 'no' to channels like WhatsApp or Slack is no longer an option. It's the way business gets done today. As business leaders look to 2021, they will need security controls that enable rather than block new communication channels in order to sustain growth."

Published Thursday, October 29, 2020 12:55 PM by David Marshall
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