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The rise in digital threats is leaving CISOs concerned across the board covering the web, social and mobile channels, a new survey found.

In fact, 89.1 percent of all information security leaders are concerned about the rise of digital threats, according to the RiskIQ 2018 CISO Survey.

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In the survey, 1,691 U.S. and U.K. information security leaders across multiple verticals, including enterprise, consulting, government and education, provided insights into their cyber risk concerns and plans for 2018.

Cyber Security

The survey found a “perfect storm,” where the problem of staff shortages collides with escalating cybercrime, leaving organizations ill-equipped to manage and respond to cyber risks and threats that are accelerating in an era of digital transformation, pervasive connections and increasingly sophisticated attack strategies sponsored by nation-states and rogue actors.

As the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in Intel chips dominated the news in early 2018, and after a year of major security breach announcements and settlements, including Equifax, Yahoo and Anthem, here is what the survey found:
• 67 percent of cybersecurity leaders do not have sufficient staff to handle the daily barrage of cyber alerts they receive
• 60 percent expect digital threats to grow as their organizations increase online engagement with customers
• The top three digital threats information security leaders fear are phishing and malware attacks on employees and customers; brand impersonation, abuse, and reputational damage; and information breaches
• The top risk organizations face today is a lack of experienced staff to monitor and help protect networks from cybercrime
• Currently, 37 percent of firms have engaged a managed security services provider (MSSP) to help monitor and manage cyberthreats

“The RiskIQ 2018 CISO Survey illuminates a growing industry-wide problem, which is that cybercrime is growing at scale, and enterprises are already experiencing critical staff shortages,” said Lou Manousos, chief executive at RiskIQ. “That’s one reason 1 in 3 organizations have engaged with an MSSP to combat cyber risks and threats, and we expect that number to grow as the competition for top security talent gets far more intense.”

To turn the tables, security teams must adopt a digital defense platform strategy built on comprehensive internet data to reduce the cost and manpower needed to defend their digital attack surface, the researchers said. By understanding their exposures, expediting threat investigations and monitoring their assets, organizations can preempt targeted external attacks and negate their short-handedness.

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