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Alarming Percentage of Orgs Can't ID a Data Breach

Just one-fifth (19%) of organizations have what they consider to be “excellent” visibility into their data and database assets.

According to Osterman Research’s database security industry report, about 39% of organizations surveyed also said that they lack the necessary tools to allow them to identify a database breach.

“This study reveals there’s a clear shift beginning to occur in information security away from total reliance on perimeter security toward a greater emphasis on database security,” said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. “Identifying compromised database credentials and insider threats will likely receive far more investment in the future. And, the actual rate of successful infiltrations or other leakage events is likely greater than discussed in this report due to inadequate organizational systems for tracking successful threats.”

In addition to most survey respondents lacking visibility into their organizations’ data and databases, 59% of respondents lack a high degree of certainty about which applications, users and clients are accessing their databases. Yet almost half (47%) of those surveyed do not have an assigned team or even an individual to oversee the security of their databases.

When asked what database security issues are of most concern, compromised credentials was the top concern of half of the survey respondents. The next biggest concern was the potential for the organization to experience a major data breach (a clear follow-on concern about lost credentials), followed by the inability to identify data breaches until it’s too late. Only 21% of survey respondents indicated they can discover such a data breach almost immediately. Most could not, and 15% responded they have no idea how long it would take to discover a breach.

In a related data point, 38% of organizations surveyed revealed they do not have the mechanisms and controls in place to allow them to continuously monitor their organization’s databases in real time. Only 20% of organizations surveyed conduct database activity assessments on a more or less continuous basis. However, slightly more than half of respondents conduct these assessments very infrequently—only once per quarter or less often. And 6% of organizations never conduct these assessments.

 “We’ve long suspected organizations lack the necessary tools and staff for proper database security,” said Brett Helm, chairman and CEO of DB Networks, which sponsored the report. “This study finally revealed why organizations’ data has become so vulnerable to attack. Simply assigning responsibility for database security and equipping them with continuous and real-time visibility into their databases would be an important first step for any organization.”

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