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Study: 52 Percent Of Businesses Defenseless Against Cyber-Attacks

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File photo of a computer tablet. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a computer tablet. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – According to a recent study, 52 percent of businesses are defenseless against a cyber-attack.

Researchers from the Ponemon Institute and privilege management firm Avecto surveyed over 500 IT security professionals in the U.S.

The study revealed that administrator power is given to employees other than the IT professionals. On average, 31 percent of a company’s staff has administrator privileges. This can open a company up to inside threats.

The study also found that privileges given to employees are up 50 percent compared to last year.

The results showed that IT departments do not have enough power and control over their users, with only 5 percent say they are prepared to handle a cyber-attack.

“The lack of visibility that IT security professionals have in terms of user behavior and admin rights, combined with more sophisticated attack vectors, is making securing and managing the endpoint a growing challenge. As a result, this is opening up a huge variety of internal and external vulnerabilities,” Paul Kenyon, co-founder and EVP of Avecto, told BusinessWire. “As businesses move to Windows 7/8 in the wake of XP support expiration, they are finding new challenges in the way they have previously managed endpoint security. It is now more important than ever that organizations invest in the security measures they need to protect themselves.”

The study found that even though 92 percent of organizations say that they are up-to-date with antivirus software, only 34 percent rate it as very effective in preventing a cyber-attack.

“While preventing targeted attacks is considered a high priority, only 5 percent of respondents said their organization is fully prepared to deal with them,” Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said. “Organizations muct deploy a layered approach to endpoint security or they will risk opening their systems up to vulnerability from multiply threats sources. The new age of cyber-attacks reuires modern defenses and companies must act quickly.”

The findings will be presented by Dr. Ponemon in a webinar on April 24.

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