The IT management specialist SolarWinds has released a new report that suggests that organizations are trusting technology to protect them from the latest cyberthreats. The findings in the company’s eighth annual IT Trends Report are based on a survey of 228 IT professionals from the US and Canada.
Those professionals collectively identified security breaches as the greatest external threat facing modern organizations. In that regard, SolarWinds noted that the number of breaches increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with SolarWinds ironically standing as one of the most high-profile victims of such an attack. The company succumbed to sophisticated malware, though subsequent investigations revealed that lax security practices also contributed to the breach. Most notably, hackers were able to guess employee passwords, and to gain access through remote channels that were not properly secured.
SolarWinds is now hoping that others can learn from its example, and that its transparency will encourage others to adopt a stronger cybersecurity posture. To that end, the vast majority (80 percent) of the survey respondents believed that technology was the most effective way to mitigate risk, and that their companies were accordingly investing in cloud computing, network infrastructure, and compliance solutions. However, low budgets and a lack of training and personnel are all factors that could slow adoption rates, as could the lack of focus from upper management. Twenty-six percent felt that their leadership did not take the problem seriously, while 44 percent complained about shifting or unclear priorities.
On the internal front, the respondents cited remote work policies (70 percent) and the distributed workforce (50 percent) as some of the biggest contributors to an organization’s overall exposure level. Seventy-three percent nevertheless believed that their organization had good policies in place to deal with risk-related issues.
That finding would seem to be at odds with a Trend Micro report that highlighted the effectiveness of phishing scams. In any case, SolarWinds went on to report that larger enterprises are more likely to believe that they are facing a high level of risk than small and mid-size businesses.
“More than ever before, tech pros must partner closely with business leaders to ensure they have the resources and headcount necessary to proactively address security risks,” said SolarWinds President and CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna. “And more importantly, tech pros should constantly assess their risk management protocols to avoid falling into complacency and being ‘blind’ to risk.”
President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order that will force federal agencies to implement multi-factor authentication. The SolarWinds breach and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack underscored the need for such a measure.