VMware Releases Cybersecurity Threat Survey Report

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), an innovator in enterprise software, has released the results of its first US-focused cybersecurity threat report, entitled: “Extended Enterprise Under Threat,” based on a survey of 250 US CIOs, CTOs and CISOs, the company said.

The research found an increase in both cyberattack volume and breaches during the past 12 months in the US This has prompted increased investment in cyber defense, with US businesses already using an average of more than nine different cybersecurity tools, the survey found.

Data for the report was compiled in March and April 2020 by an independent research company, Opinion Matters, on behalf of VMware Carbon Black.

Key survey findings from US respondents:

92% said attack volumes have increased in the last 12 months, the survey found.
97% said their business has suffered a security breach in the last 12 months. The average organization said they experienced 2.70 breaches during that time, the survey found.
84% said attacks have become more sophisticated, the survey found.
95% said they plan to increase cyber defense spending in the coming year.
OS vulnerabilities are the cause of breaches, according to the survey, followed by web application attacks and ransomware.
US companies said they are using an average of nine different security technologies to manage their security program, the survey found.

The most common cause of breaches in the US was OS vulnerabilities (27%). This was jointly followed by web application attacks with 13.5% and ransomware with 13%. Island-hopping was the cause of 5% of breaches.

US cybersecurity professionals said they are using an average of more than nine different tools or consoles to manage their cyber defense program, the survey found. This indicates a security environment that has evolved reactively as security tools have been adopted to tackle emerging threats.

The latest research was supplemented with a survey on the impact COVID-19 has had on the attack landscape1. According to the supplemental survey of more than 1,000 respondents from the US, UK, Singapore and Italy, 88% of US cybersecurity professionals said attack volumes have increased as more employees work from home. 89% said their organizations have experienced cyberattacks linked to COVID-19 malware.

Key findings from the supplemental US COVID-19-focused survey:

89% said they have been targeted by COVID-19-related malware.
Inability to institute multifactor authentication (MFA) was reported as the biggest security threat to businesses during COVID-19, the survey found.
83% reported gaps in disaster planning around communications with external parties including customers, prospects, and partners.

US survey respondents were asked whether COVID-19 had exposed gaps in their disaster recovery plans, and to indicate the severity of those gaps. Their responses showed that:

83% of respondents reported gaps in recovery planning, ranging from slight to severe.
83% said they had uncovered gaps in IT operations.
84% said they encountered problems around enabling a remote workforce.
83% said they´ve experienced challenges communicating with employees
83% said they had experienced difficulty communicating with external parties.
63% said the situation uncovered gaps around visibility into cybersecurity threats.
Said McElroy: “These figures indicate that the surveyed CISOs may be facing difficulty in a number of areas when answering the demands placed on them by the COVID-19 situation.”

Risks directly related to COVID-19 have also quickly emerged, the survey found. This includes rises in COVID-19 malware which was seen by 89% of US respondents.

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