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55 Percent of US Organizations Have Suffered Security Breach, Survey Finds

centrify_survey55 percent of US-based IT decision makers (ITDMs), and 45 percent of their UK counterparts say that their organizations have suffered a security breach in the past, according to results from a survey recently conducted by Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Privileged Identity provider Centrify.

The survey of 400 workers in the US and UK, which Centrify says was “aimed to find out if corporations are as secure as a need to be” (spoiler: they aren’t), was conducted between April 27 and April 30, 2015, and a 6.9 percent margin of error.

The Cost of a Breach

With this survey, Centrify aims to look beyond front-page data breaches such as the Office of Personnel Management. and examine the cause and effect of data breaches on smaller organizations.

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Financially, that cost can be quite high—the average cost of a security breach is $3.79 million (USD), according to research from the Ponemon Institute. Additionally, 2015 is on track to break records in both the number of breaches and in the number of records exposed via breach.

Privileged Identity is a Risky Perimeter

As for the cause of those breaches, three-quarters of US ITDMs and more than half of UK ITDMs surveyed suggested that their organizations need to do a better job of monitoring who has access to their data.

Centrify also identified some risky practices in the office— 59 percent of US ITDMs and 34 percent of UK ITDMs said that sharing access credentials with other employees is at least somewhat common, and another 52 percent of US ITDMs said that they often share credentials with contractors.

“Today’s corporate perimeter has nothing to do with physical headquarters,” said Tom Kemp, CEO and co-founder of Centrify, in a prepared statement. The new perimeter, Kemp says, contains data that resides in the cloud and on the many devices that employees and contractors use in the field. “It’s our hope that this survey helps convince IT decision makers to take steps now to enhance identity management before hackers find holes and exploit them.”

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