While security awareness remains top of mind through all sectors, including manufacturing automation, knowledge of what is happening on the network remains a mystery, a new survey found.

That is because a majority of organizations are struggling to monitor and prevent cyberattacks on their network.

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On top of that, over one in four organizations have been breached in the past 12 months, while 23 percent aren’t sure if they have been breached or not, according to a new DomainTools survey of more than 550 security analysts, IT managers, and executives.

When asked to grade their organization’s cybersecurity program, 43 percent gave themselves a “C”, “D”, “F”, or “non-existent”, and 15 percent gave themselves an “A.”

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One thing is for sure, the “A” grade companies have several attributes in common, including a high level of automation, a threat intelligence framework, and a robust training program for security staff.

One-third of security pros are savvy enough to detect daily attacks, but 66 percent are unaware of the daily onslaught of malicious activity.

While malware (76 percent) and spear phishing (56 percent) are the most common and effective types of threat vectors, business email compromise (25 percent) and DDoS attacks (24 percent) are on the rise. Also, nearly one-third of respondents were the recipients of ransomware, which cost businesses more than $1 billion last year.

Training is a key factor for any company and it shows for the top security organizations.

The survey found of the 15 percent of companies that gave themselves an “A” grade, the vast majority (82 percent) boast a formalized training program for security staff, virtually all (99 percent) utilize some degree or a high level of automation within their security programs, and 78 percent use threat intelligence to follow up on forensic clues of an attack to protect the company.

These qualities differ compared to lower-graded companies.

For example, only 37 percent of the “C” companies and none of the “F” companies have a formalized training program, 63 percent of “D” companies use manual processes and are more likely to think they do not need automated processes.

What’s more, when asked if they have experienced a network breach in the past 12 months, only 15 percent of “A” companies have, compared to 27 percent of “C” companies, 38 percent of “D” companies, and 63 percent of “F” companies.

In addition to more budget (50 percent) and more staff (49 percent), 42 percent of companies that did not grade themselves an “A” said they need more time to evaluate and install technologies in order to be successful.

Almost all companies use more than one cybersecurity system, including firewalls (63 percent), anti-phishing or other messaging security software (57 percent), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems (52 percent), and threat intelligence platforms (42 percent).

More than one quarter (26 percent) spend 26 hours or more per week hunting threats in the network, and 78 percent find value in threat hunting – specifically in drilling down on forensic clues from phishing emails, such as domain name, IP address, or email address, and disclose that it leads to information that makes the organization more secure. “A” and “B” companies were more likely to follow up on clues and evidence compared to “D” and “F” companies.

Click here to register to download the report.

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