by George Nott

Meatware not well understood by Aussie enterprise, survey

Mar 01, 2017

Wetware, the fleshwall, meatware, warmware – whatever you call the sweaty-skin-bags-of-blood that sit at the desks round your office, they represent a major risk to cybersecurity in the enterprise.

Knowing how they behave and why is crucial to effective security say 70 per cent of Australian cybersecurity professionals, according to a Forcepoint commissioned survey conducted last month.

But the same proportion admitted they were not very effective at understanding the behaviours of people as they interact with business data, and 84 per cent said are not very effective at understanding the intent of employees when they did so.

“On the whole, cyber-security initiatives and investments across industry and enterprise to date have not gone far enough to address the real and immediate threat to data leakage – insiders, be they malicious, accidental or negligent in intent,” said Guy Eilon, country manager for Forcepoint in ANZ.

“It is only with a complete understanding of how, where and why people touch confidential data that businesses will be able to better focus cybersecurity efforts and bring us up to speed on the global stage.”

Some 67 per cent of Australian businesses agreed that a greater focus on human behaviour would help improve security results and costs. And no business disagreed.

Least mistrust

Malware ranked as the number one risk to security for 37 per cent of the 58 local respondents to the survey, closely followed by inadvertent human behaviour (26 per cent), criminal employee activity (12 per cent) and rogue employees (10 per cent).

Around 63 per cent of those surveyed – chiefly systems admins and senior engineers – said their organisations only had moderate or slight visibility critical business data. Just under half of respondents ranked email as the greatest risk to critical business data, followed by social media, mobile devices and laptops.

Most trust – or least mistrust – was given to cloud storage facilities, with only 8 per cent ranking it as their number one cause for concern.

Little over a third (34 per cent) of those surveyed were completely satisfied with their investment in security technology and 28 per cent agreed that applying more technology would help improve business security.