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Splunk: Data Breaches, Ransomware Attacks Leave Security Teams “Exhausted”

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Two in three organizations are experiencing an uptick in attempted cyber attacks with many seriously undermined by data breaches and ransom hijacks that have left their security teams “exhausted,” a new Splunk security market study said.

According to data compiled and analyzed by data analytics platform provider Splunk from its 2022 State of Security report, 64% of the 1,227 security leader respondents said that it's challenging to keep up with new security requirements, up from 49% a year ago.

Read between the lines, and shorthanded businesses may increasingly lean on MSPs and MSSPs for cybersecurity assistance -- though service providers must also carefully navigate the same cyber talent challenges that corporations and government agencies face.

Here’s some additional data from the survey:

  • Nearly half (49%) of organizations have suffered a data breach over the past two years, an increase from 39% a year earlier.
  • 79% of respondents have encountered ransomware attacks, and 35% said that one or more of those attacks led them to lose access to data and systems.
  • 59% of security teams have had to devote significant time and resources to remediation, an increase from 42% a year ago.
  • 54% said that their business-critical applications have suffered from unplanned outages related to cybersecurity incidents on at least a monthly basis, with a median of 12 outages per year.
  • The median time to recover from unplanned downtime tied to cybersecurity incidents is 14 hours.
  • Respondents estimated the cost of this downtime averaged about $200,000 per hour.

Other surveys have pointed to a dramatic and persistence workforce shortage that has resulted in overworked staffers. Indeed, for many organizations the biggest security issue is a shortfall in workforce and low security awareness among employees. Splunk’s survey respondents are no different in this regard as those in other research studies:

  • 76% of respondents have been forced to take on responsibilities they are not ready for, and 70% say that the resulting increase in their workload has led them to consider looking for a new role.
  • 85% of respondents said that recruiting and retaining talent has become more difficult in the past 12 months.
  • 53% of respondents can’t hire enough staff and 58% cite an inability to find talent with the right skills.
  • 68% of respondents report that talent shortages directly led to the failure of one or more projects/initiatives.
  • 73% of respondents said that workers have resigned from burnout.

“One positive sign is that over two-thirds (67%) of organizations are actively investing in technologies designed for advanced analytics and security operations automation,” said Jane Wong, Splunk vice president of security products. “Automation is critical to help reduce the time it takes to respond to attacks, and these technologies should focus on assisting our human analysts, not replacing them. This can mean fewer tools, not more.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.