Is the Battle for Network Security a Lost Cause?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 10-29-2013 Email Print this article Print

As if the sheer number of malware samples roaming the world isn’t enough to keep CIOs up at night, a new study from software security firm Lieberman Software has revealed that increasingly sophisticated hackers, coupled with state-sponsored hacking, have thrust most organizations' ability to protect themselves into a state of near-impossibility. "What was also striking was that more than a third [of the respondents] felt that their current IT infrastructure was insufficient in the face of a heavyset attack, yet not all of the respondents were prepared to do something about it," says Lieberman Software president and CEO Philip Lieberman. "I wonder if they feel that sitting tight and hoping for the best is efficient and sufficient protection." Snarky comments aside, Lieberman has a point: Is complacency the bane of the security professional's existence or is it the result of knowing that the odds of a company getting hacked are much higher than ever? Lieberman's remarks come from a study his company recently conducted at the BlackHat USA 2013 conference in Las Vegas. The event is held each year to educate attendees on the newest hacking techniques, making the 200 IT professions the software company surveyed uniquely qualified to discuss the threats they face and those they believe that they cannot address.

  • Has the Network Been Breached or Not?

    Although they don't necessarily believe so, 74% of IT professionals cannot say for certain whether their network has been hacked by a foreign government or advanced persistent threat.
    1-Has the Network Been Breached or Not?
  • The U.S. Is Behind the Times

    Six in 10 respondents believe the U.S. (and, thus, U.S.-based companies) are losing the battle over state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
    2-The U.S. Is Behind the Times
  • The Attacks Keep Coming

    63% of IT professionals expect their network to be targeted by a state-sponsored attacker in the next six months.
    3-The Attacks Keep Coming
  • CIOs Need to Boost Capabilities

    Despite expectations of major attacks, just 48% of IT executives believe their staff would be capable of detecting a breach to their network or corporate data.
    4-CIOs Need to Boost Capabilities
  • Education Is Everything

    To address issues about how to respond to cyber-attacks, 88% of IT professionals say they are currently engaging in user training to help repel assaults.
    5-Education Is Everything
  • Are Better Security Appliances the Answer?

    Meanwhile, 89% of IT pros report that their companies are investing in better security appliances, in addition to improving education to help combat cyber-attacks.
    6-Are Better Security Appliances the Answer?
  • Keeping Up With Foes

    There are some major issues with confidence in the security department: just 57% of IT professionals think they have what it takes to keep up with new and emerging threats.
    7-Keeping Up With Foes
  • A Look to the Future

    Get ready: 96% of IT professionals believe the hacking landscape will only get worse in the coming years.
    8-A Look to the Future
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at


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