Gigamon Inc has revealed the results of a new iGov survey that examines the IT security threats and challenges facing the UK public sector. The survey was completed by IT and security professionals from 172 public sector organisations across local Government, the NHS and the higher/further education sector.
In light of recent high profile breaches, 85% of organisations have reviewed their security considerations, despite which only 55% of organisations have IT budget dedicated to security solutions. 69% of respondents are concerned about the rise of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). However, only 18% of organisations currently employ APT-focused solutions.
Recent high-profile cases have drawn attention to the unprecedented volume of cyber breaches in every industry. As a result, public sector organisations have had to re-think the IT security solutions and strategies that they have in place, while at the same time continuing to meet their ongoing goals for service delivery.
This is demonstrated by the survey, in which 85% of organisations say they’re currently reviewing their considerations. 65% of respondents viewed malicious code (including hacking, phishing and viruses) as a major risk to their organisation’s service delivery, with data loss (55%) and data misuse (40%) also ranking highly on the list of threats.
“These organisations have access to some of, if not the most sensitive data in the UK, including healthcare records, personally identifiable information and even payment data,” said Trevor Dearing, marketing director for the EMEA at Gigamon. “Thankfully, this study demonstrates a great understanding of cyber security risks and a high level of cyber readiness, with the majority of organisations confident in their ability to identify and remove suspicious traffic. The UK public sector still has some catching up to do when it comes to mitigating the most advanced IT security threats, but this is a trend consistent with the market in general as hackers turn to low and slow attacks which can be incredibly effective and difficult to stop.”
Identifying and removing suspicious traffic
The majority of UK public sector organisations (82%) are confident in their ability to identify and remove suspicious traffic on their networks, across both physical and virtual environments. Furthermore, 81% of respondents cited that they employ endpoint protection, while Internet misuse by employees was deemed the lowest risk to respondents’ organisations (which points to confidence in mobile security as well as employee training or trust).
In terms of how UK public sector organisations are using and sourcing their IT security solutions, 55% of organisations’ IT budgets are dedicated to security solutions. 72% of respondents said they view location as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when deploying security solutions, due to the increased mobility of staff, users and applications. 46% of respondents said their security solutions were delivered by a supplier sourced directly by their organisation, 29% were sourced in-house and 9% via shared services.
“Making sure that IT security is right needn’t be a complex or costly undertaking,” continued Dearing. “Instead, with the right partners and ecosystem of technologies in place, public sector organisations can place more importance on visibility to really understand what’s happening across their ever-expanding networks.”
*To download the full report visit: http://wefightsmart.co.uk/Content/IT-security-threats-survey-2016.pdf