Half of All Websites Have Been Breached, Study Shows

Forty-seven percent of all websites have suffered a material security breach involving an attack that compromised the networks or enterprise systems. This attack could have been external (i.e. hacker), internal (i.e. malicious insider) or both. Two-thirds of the respondents say threat intelligence could have prevented or minimized the consequences of the attack, according to recent research by Ponemon Institute.

According to the 692 IT and IT security practitioners surveyed by the Ponemon Institute researchers, exchange of threat intelligence can improve an organization’s security and situational awareness. However, concerns about trust in the sources of intelligence and timeliness of the remaint a deterrent to participation in such initiatives, study shows.

Some 75 percent of respondents, who are familiar and involved in their company’s cyber threat intelligence activities or process, believe gathering and using threat intelligence is essential to a strong security posture. Organizations that only partially participate cite potential liability of sharing (62 percent of respondents) and lack of trust in the sources of intelligence (60 percent of respondents). However, more respondents believe there is a benefit to exchanging threat intelligence.

In June, 460 of the 1,000 leading global websites were found vulnerable to existing online security threats, according to Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) annual audit of sites including leading banks, retailers, social, media, news, government and IoT sites. Nearly half of the Top 1,000 websites don’t adequately protect consumers from phishing and other social engineering threats and have insufficient privacy policies and poor disclosure notices, in comparison to last year’s 30%. Internet of Things and media sites fare worst, with fail rates of over 75%, while Twitter scores as most trustworthy.

Some 900 million consumer accounts will be impacted in 2014 and 2015 alone by data breaches, with some consumers affected more than once, according to a previous survey by IT and outsourcing company Accenture. In 2014-2015, researchers estimate the number of data breaches will more than double from the previous two years. Since the beginning of 2014, data breaches have affected more than 550 million consumer accounts. Data breaches have risen eight-fold in the past decade.

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