41% of organizations not aware of security risks

41 percent of organizations are not well aware of or protected against IT security risks, according to McAfee.

Another 40 percent are not completely confident they can accurately deploy countermeasure products thus leaving them at risk.

The McAfee report found that to address these concerns, nearly half of all companies plan to spend an average of 21 percent more in 2011 on risk and compliance solutions. Overall, the survey indicated strong growth for risk and compliance products in 2011 with the majority of CSO’s and other decision-making executives demanding integrated and automated solutions rather than point products.

In regards to regulatory compliance, the vast majority, 75 percent of respondents, are not confident that they will pass a regulatory audit, with more than half of organizations stating that they have already failed an audit. Nine percent of companies indicated that these audit failures resulted in industry or government fines. Databases also ranked as the biggest infrastructure challenge in terms of complying with regulatory mandates.

Additional key findings:

  • 41% of companies indicating they will be investing in Database Activity Monitoring
  • 45% of companies are patching systems every week
  • 49% of companies stated that they try to “over protect’ by patching everything
  • 84% of the respondents feel that their business and security operations are impacted due to out-of-cycle patches
  • 37% are not confident in knowing which assets need to be patched when a new threat materializes
  • 24% of organizations are spending more than $250,000 annually on auditors
  • Compliance is perceived as the main budget driver for 25 percent of IT projects
  • More than 40 percent of organizations get into “fire-fight mode” when a regulatory audit approaches, diverting critical resources away from strategic priorities
  • 39% are not confident of being able to translate IT risks into business risks
  • 56% of organizations indicated adding “Countermeasure-Awareness” to their risk analysis would provide the biggest benefit
  • 60% of the respondents believe that up to 10% of downtime is attributable to unauthorized changes that take place over the entire year.

“Organizations are under increasing pressure to protect customer information and privacy, as well as their own sensitive business information, driving the need for a strong focus on risk and compliance management,” said Stuart McClure, senior vice president and general manager of risk and compliance for McAfee. “As the results of this study show, companies recognize the need to improve risk management through better identification of threats, vulnerabilities and countermeasures, as well as the need to improve policy compliance through more automation of IT controls.”

The complete report is available here. Registration required.

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