Practitioners Give Global Cybersecurity a “C” According to New Research

Tenable Network Security®, Inc., today released findings from the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, in which the world’s information security practitioners gave global cybersecurity readiness a “C” average with an overall score of 76 percent.

The 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card tallied responses from six countries and seven industry verticals, and also calculated a global score reflecting the overall confidence levels of security practitioners that the world’s cyber defenses are meeting expectations.

According to survey data, global cybersecurity earned an overall score of 76 percent—an underwhelming “C” average. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they feel “about the same” or “more pessimistic” about their organizations’ ability to defend against cyber attacks compared to last year. When asked about the biggest challenges facing them today, the practitioners cited an overwhelming threat environment as the biggest challenge, while reporting relative confidence in the effectiveness of cybersecurity products.

“What this tells me is that while security innovations solve specific new challenges, practitioners are struggling to effectively deploy an overarching security strategy without gaps between defenses,” said Ron Gula, CEO, Tenable Network Security. “It’s no surprise that many in the profession feel overwhelmed by the increasingly complex threat environment. The recent, unprecedented cyberattacks have disrupted business for leading global companies, infiltrated governments and shaken confidence among security practitioners. With so much at stake, organizations need to know whether their security programs are effective or if they are falling short.”

Key Global Findings

Cloudy days ahead – Respondents consistently cited cloud applications (graded D+) and cloud infrastructure (D) as two of the three most challenging IT components for assessing cybersecurity risks.

A mobile dilemma – Mobile devices (D) also were reported as particularly challenging when assessing cyber risks. The inability to even detect transient mobile devices in the first place (C) was another big challenge for the world’s security practitioners.

Uninvested board members – On the upside, respondents largely believe they have the tools in place to measure overall security effectiveness (B-) and to convey security risks to executives and board members. On the downside, respondents question whether their executives and board members fully understand those security risks (C+) and are investing enough to mitigate them (C).

Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Country

Australia: D+ (69 percent)
Canada: C+ (77 percent)
Germany: C- (72 percent)
Singapore: C- (72 percent)
United Kingdom: C (74 percent)
United States: B- (80 percent)

Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Industry

Education: D (64 percent)
Financial Services: B- (81 percent) Government: D (66 percent)
Health Care: C (73 percent)
Manufacturing: C (76 percent)
Retail: C+ (77 percent)
Telecom & Technology: B- (81 percent)

“These index scores reflect a startling lack of ability to detect and assess cyber risk in both cloud infrastructure and applications as well as mobile devices,” said Gula. “Another concern is the uphill battle security professionals face in mobilizing their organizations’ leadership to prioritize security. There’s a disconnect between the CISO and the boardroom that must be bridged before real progress can be made.”

Original research for the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card was conducted by CyberEdge Group, a research and marketing firm serving the security industry’s top vendors.

To view or download the full report and survey details visit