Press release

New McAfee Research Reveals 61 Percent of I.T. Professionals Have Experienced a Serious Data Breach

Sponsored by Businesswire

McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, today released Grand
Theft Data II – The Drivers and Shifting State of Data Breaches
which revealed that despite improvements in combating cybercrime and
threats, IT security professionals are still struggling to fully secure
their organization and protect against breaches with 61 percent claiming
to have experienced a data breach at their current employer. Adding to
this challenge, data breaches are becoming more serious as
cybercriminals continue to target intellectual property putting the
reputation of the company brand at risk and increasing financial

McAfee’s study demonstrates the need for a cybersecurity strategy that
includes implementing integrated security solutions combined with
employee training and an overall culture of security throughout the
organization to reduce future breaches.

“Threats have evolved and will continue to become even more
sophisticated,” said Candace Worley, vice president and chief technical
strategist at McAfee. “Organizations need to augment security measures
by implementing a culture of security and emphasizing that all employees
are part of an organization’s security posture, not just the IT team. To
stay ahead of threats, it is critical companies provide a holistic
approach to improving security process by not only utilizing an
integrated security solution but also practicing good security hygiene.”

The McAfee report highlights the following:

  • Savvier thieves: Data is now being stolen by a wide range of
    methods, with no single technique dominating the industry. The top
    vectors used to exfiltrate data are database leaks, cloud applications
    and removable USB drives.
  • IP tied for 1st: Personally
    identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property (IP) are now
    tied as the data categories with the highest potential impact to 43%
    of respondents. Notably, PII is of greater concern in Europe (49%),
    most likely due to the recent enforcement date of the General Data
    Protection Regulation (GDPR). In Asia-Pacific countries, intellectual
    property theft is of greater concern (51%) than PII.
  • Blame game: IT is looked at as the culprit with 52 percent of
    respondents claiming IT is at fault for creating the most data leakage
    events. Business operations (29 percent) follows as the next most
    likely to be involved. Highly regulated internal groups including
    finance (12 percent) and legal (6 percent) were the most secure.
  • The great divide: Security technology continues to operate in
    isolation, with 81 percent reporting separate policies or management
    consoles for cloud access security broker (CASB) and data loss
    prevention (DLP), resulting in delayed detection and remediation
  • Taking responsibility: There is a rift in regard to
    accountability – 55 percent of IT professionals believe that c-level
    executives should lose their job if a breach is serious enough, yet 61
    percent also state that the c-level executives they work with expect
    more lenient security policies for themselves.
  • Future proofing: IT professionals are taking action, with
    almost two-thirds stating they have purchased additional DLP, CASB and
    endpoint detection solutions over the last 12 months. Respondents
    believe that between 65 and 80 percent of breaches experienced would
    have likely been prevented if one or more of these systems had been

The stakes are higher as multiple attack methods are now used in a
breach as cybercriminals continue to target personal data and
intellectual property. Furthermore, IT security teams are increasingly
concerned about external threat actors compromising their network, which
has forced more organizations to publicly disclose when breaches occur.
The severity of publicly disclosing breaches results not only in
financial repercussions but damage to brand and reputation as well.


Study Methodology

This study was conducted by MSI-ACI
, on behalf of McAfee. Survey respondents had to have
experienced a serious data breach incident sometime in their career as
an IT professional. Data was collected via online interviews between
December 12 and 31, 2018. To qualify for the survey, organizations had
to have more than 1,000 employees, and were evenly split between
commercial (1,000 to 5,000 employees) and enterprise (more than 5,000
employees). The resulting global group represented the Australia,
Canada, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the U.S., the U.K., and a
wide range of industries.

About McAfee

McAfee is the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company. Inspired by the
power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer
solutions that make our world a safer place.

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