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14 Feb 2023

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Mandiant Cyber-Security Report Shows a Lack of Understanding Among Enterprises

Cybercrime is not going away, as organized criminal syndicates and maleficent state actors have firmly entrenched themselves among the vandals and small-time criminals in this endeavor. Security company Mandiant has released a deep new report on this topic, titled, “Global Perspectives on Threat Intelligence,” based on a global survey of 1,350 cyber-security decision makers across 13 countries and 18 sectors, including financial services, healthcare and government.

Digital infrastructure already handles multiple thousands of exabytes of information annually each year, and data is expected to keep growing at a clip of about 25% per year, according to authoritative research from Cisco. Threats to that data and the organizations that handle will increase proportionally or more. Complicating the situation is the finding that 79% of the organizations surveyed in this report said they make “the majority of cyber-security decisions without insights into the threat actor that is targeting them.”

Ambiguous Views of Threats
Showing some cognitive dissonance, 96% of respondents professed “to be satisfied with the quality of threat intelligence their organization is using,” even as 47% also said that “applying that intelligence throughout the security organization is one of their greatest challenges.”

Mandiant says the report showed that 91% of respondents felt “most confident” in battling threats that have a financial motive, and 83% were confident of battling a nation-state actor. Yet, again showing some discontinuity, a majority said their organizations would “be unable to fully defend itself” against attacks from Russia, China, and North Korea. A total of 44% said the same thing about Iran.

More Time and Energy Seems Required
Cyber-security is discussed once every four to five weeks with members of the board and C-suite, and other senior stakeholders, the report found. About 38% of security teams share threat intelligence with other employees, with 79% saying “their organization could focus more time and energy on identifying critical trends.”

Google Cloud VP of Mandiant Intelligence Sandra Joyce said in relation to this report, "A conventional, check-the-box mindset isn't enough to defend against today's well-resourced and dynamic adversaries. Security teams are outwardly confident, but often struggle to keep pace with the rapidly changing threat landscape.”

Image from Mandiant.

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