Data Breaches Remain Top Concern for Chief Information Security Officers in 2018


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High-profile data breaches at Equifax Inc.Yahoo Inc., and Uber Technologies Inc. dominated headlines in 2017, propelling cybersecurity-related issues to the top of concerns for businesses and consumers. According to a recent report based on a survey of more than 15,000 chief information security officers (CISOs) by the Ponemon Institute, concerns over data breaches will continue to haunt companies in 2018.

According to the survey, which was sponsored by compliance and risk management solutions provider Opus Global Inc., 67 percent of CISOs responding believed that their companies are likely to be targeted in a cyberattack or will face a data breach in 2018, with 60 percent saying that their concern has increased since 2017. 

As for the source of the cybersecurity threats, 70 percent of CISOs cited “lack of competent in-house staff” as their top concern. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that it is “highly likely” that they will experience computer access credential theft due to “careless employees” falling for phishing scams. 

This increase in perceived cybersecurity threats has real-life consequences, the report said. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said their job will become more stressful in 2018, with 41 percent saying they will “completely change careers” during the year. 

The difficulty in maintaining robust cybersecurity measures may be due to ubiquitous internet connectivity in the modern age. Sixty percent of respondents said that internet of things (IoT) devices are the most challenging to secure. 

Securing IoT devices is a major concern for the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary enforcer of consumer privacy and data security. The FTC recently settled with Chinese VTech Electronics Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary over charges that the company collected children’s personal information through its mobile app without notice or consent. VTech agreed to pay $650,000 under the no-fault pact.

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