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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A report entitled “The State of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust 2016” has revealed that more than two out of three companies surveyed – 69 percent – experienced an attempted or successful insider theft or corruption of data during the prior 12 months, and that concerns from security professionals over insider theft of corporate information over the coming 12 to 18 months rose by nearly two-thirds.

The survey conducted by HfS Research on behalf of Accenture found that nearly half of all respondents – 48 percent – indicated they are either strongly or critically concerned about insider theft of data in the next 12 to 18 months. When asked about current funding and staffing levels, 42 percent of respondents to the survey said they needed more budget for hiring cybersecurity professionals and for training.

“Our research paints a sobering picture. Security leaders believe threats are not going away, in fact they expect them to increase and hinder their ability to safeguard critical data and establish digital trust,” Kelly Bissell, senior managing director of Accenture Security, stated in a press release about the survey, which also identified five significant gaps disrupting the ability to prevent or mitigate cyber attacks:

  • Talent: 31 percent of respondents listed either lack of training or staffing budget as their single biggest inhibitor to combating attacks.
  • Technology: The largest increase in deployments anticipated in the next 12 to 18 months will be in the areas of cognitive computing and AI and data anonymization.
  • Parity: Only 35 to 57 percent of all enterprises said they assessed ecosystem partners for cyber integrity and preparedness.
  • Budget: 70 percent of respondents cited a lack of, or inadequate, funding for either cybersecurity technology or security talent, including training.
  • Management: While 54 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cybersecurity is an enabler of digital trust for consumers, 36 percent believed that their executive management considered cybersecurity an unnecessary cost.

“While the gaps we identified can be overcome, they do collectively underscore the need for an inherently different approach, one that includes more robust risk management measures and the development of digital trust,” Fred McClimans, research vice president of Digital Trust and Cybersecurity, HfS Research, stated in the press release about the insider theft survey.

The findings of the survey – which was conducted on more than 200 C-level security executives and IT professionals across a range of geographies and industry sectors –  indicated that there are significant gaps between talent supply and demand, a disconnect between security teams and management expectations, and considerable disparity between budget needs and actual budget realities.

The survey “The State of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust 2016” from Accenture and HfS Research which “examined the current and future state of cybersecurity within the enterprise and the recommended steps to enable digital trust throughout the extended ecosystem” is available online at

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