A third of organizations admit to covering up data breaches

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In a world where preventing cybercrime is becoming more difficult, many security leaders are putting pressure on IT professionals to bury the truth.

A new study released today by cybersecurity vendor Bitdefender surveyed more than 400 IT and security professionals working at companies with 1,000 or more employees. Bitdefender found that 42% of IT and security professionals surveyed had been told to keep breaches private, meaning to hide them when they should have been reported.

Perhaps more shockingly, 29.9% of respondents admitted to actually keeping the breach private rather than reporting it.

This research highlights that an alarming number of organizations are willing to ignore their obligations to report data breaches to regulators and customers in an attempt to avoid legal and financial penalties.

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Crack under pressure

The investigation comes less than a year after the FTC indicted former Uber CSO Joseph Sullivan for trying to cover up the 2016 Uber hack. The case highlighted that lying about data breaches is a serious criminal offense in many jurisdictions.

So why are so many tech leaders pressuring their staff to bury data breaches? The answer is that the cyber threat landscape is becoming increasingly demanding, with 52% of organizations experiencing a data breach in the past 12 months.

The top five threats respondents said they were most concerned about were software vulnerabilities and zero days (53.9%), phishing and social engineering (52.2%), supply chain attacks (49%), ransomware (48.5%) and internal threats (36.5%). %).

β€œAll over the world, organizations [are] under immense pressure to combat emerging threats such as ransomware, zero-day vulnerabilities and espionage while combating [the] The complexities of expanding security coverage across environments and ongoing skills shortages,” said Andrei Florescu, Deputy General Manager and Senior Vice President of Products, Bitdefender Business Solutions Group.

Investing in cybersecurity to prevent data breaches

While it is difficult to guarantee that an organization will respond responsibly to cyber incidents, proactive security leaders can try to reduce the likelihood of fraud by reducing the burden on human security teams.

This includes investing in threat prevention, detection and response solutions that enable users to address and resolve security incidents more quickly, with less impact on the organization and less exposure to legal and financial risks.

“The results of this survey show more than ever the importance of layered security that provides advanced threat prevention, detection and response across the business while improving efficiency that allows security teams to do more with less,” said Florescu.

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