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Ponemon Institute is pleased to announce the release of Flipping the Economics of Attacks, sponsored by Palo Alto Networks. In this study, we look at the relationships between the time spent and compensation of today’s adversaries and how organizations can thwart attacks. As revealed in this research, while some attackers may be motivated by non-pecuniary reasons, such as those that are geopolitical or reputational, an average of 69 percent of respondents say they are in it for the money.



Welcome to my blog. I look forward to providing interesting content from our latest research studies. Please stay tuned for some very thought provoking research!

New Research on Privileged Access Management Reveals the Status Quo Is Not Secure
October 11, 2019, 9:00 am

Ponemon Institute is pleased to announce the release of a new study that presents four years of research on how elevated access to high-value information assets can be a serious risk to organizations when not properly secured. Sponsored by Sila Solutions Group, the 659 respondents we surveyed self-reported that they have privileged access to IT resources and 77 percent of these respondents have access to at least three IT resources with 40 percent holding privileged access to six or more IT resources.

The key takeaway from this research is that the status quo in privileged access management programs is not decreasing the risk to critical information resources. In fact, 56 percent of respondents expect privileged user abuse to increase in the next 12 to 24 months, a significant increase from 44 percent of respondents in the 2011 research. Following are problems organizations face when trying to mitigate the risk:

  • Employees or contractors often access sensitive or confidential data without a business need and sometimes share their access credential with others in the organization.
  • Organizations don’t have a unified view of privileged user access across the enterprise.
  • A lack of resources, in-house expertise and in-house technologies are challenges to improving the efficiency and security of access governance process. Specifically, organizations are struggling to keep pace with the number of access change requests and to reduce burdensome processes for business users requesting access.
  • Too much reliance on manual processes for granting privileged user access and reviewing and certifying privileged user access hinders organizations’ abilities to meet growing requests for access changes.

According to the research, business and IT leaders need to look beyond simple tool integration and a check-the-box mentality. To learn more about how to address the challenge of achieving a more secure privileged access management the full report is available for download.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Larry Ponemon

The Cyber Hygiene Index: Measuring the Riskiest States
June 8, 2018, 10:00 am

Are the residents of certain states more aware than others about the importance of maintaining a high level of readiness in order to prevent, detect and respond to cyber-related attacks such as malware, phishing, ransomware and to identity/credential theft? The answer is yes.

Data Breaches Caused by Insiders Increase in Frequency and Cost
April 26, 2018, 12:00 am

Ponemon Institute and ObserveIT have released The 2018 Cost of Insider Threats: Global Study, on what companies have spent to deal with a data breach caused by a careless or negligent employee or contractor, criminal or malicious insider or a credential thief. While the negligent insider is the root cause of most breaches, the bad actor who steals employees’ credentials is responsible for the most costly incidents.

Ponemon Institute and Kilpatrick Townsend release The Second Annual Study on the Cybersecurity Risk to Knowledge Assets
April 25, 2018, 2:00 pm

The key takeaway of this research is that companies’ awareness of the risk to knowledge assets has increased since the first study was conducted. Which is having a positive impact on their ability to safeguard these high value assets. Specifically, more companies are making the protection of knowledge assets an integral part of their IT security strategy and boards of directors are requiring assurances that knowledge assets are managed and safeguarded appropriately.

Ponemon Institute Announces the Release of the 2018 Megatrends Study
March 15, 2018, 11:00 am

Ponemon Institute Announces the Release of the 2018 Megatrends Study

A major deterrent to achieving a strong security posture is the inability for IT professionals to know the big changes or megatrends in security threats that they need to be prepared for. Too many companies are overwhelmed with the daily attacks that are coming fast and furious to think long-term and understand what investments they should be making in people, process and technologies to prevent a catastrophic data breach or cyber attack.

The 2018 Study on Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity was conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Raytheon to help CISOs throughout the globe prepare for the future threat landscape that will be characterized by an increase in cyber extortion or ransomware attacks and data breaches caused by unsecured IoT devices. Here is the link to download the full report:


Dr. Larry Ponemon

The 2017 State of Endpoint Security Risk Report
November 20, 2017, 3:00 pm

Ponemon Institute releases the latest study on the state of endpoint security risk, sponsored by Barkly. As this research reveals, today’s organizations are struggling to secure their endpoints, and paying a steep cost for each successful attack. To discover how exactly endpoint security is breaking down, and what organizations are doing to fix it, Ponemon Institute surveyed 665 IT security professionals responsible for managing and reducing their organization’s security risk. The findings indicate we are in the midst of a significant shift in endpoint security.

The majority of organizations are replacing or augmenting these solutions with new security tools designed to stop fileless attacks, though many remain skeptical such attacks can be stopped at all.  We hope you will read the full report

Dr. Larry Ponemon

Chair, Ponemon Institute

What are the 12 global trends in identity governance and access management?
October 25, 2016, 9:00 am


Ponemon Institute is pleased to present the findings of Global Trends in Identity Governance & Access Management, sponsored by Micro Focus. The purpose of this study is to understand companies’ ability to protect access to sensitive and confidential information and what they believe is necessary to improve the protection. All participants in this study are involved in providing end users access to information resources in their organizations. Some of the trends discussed in the report are:

1. Employees are frustrated with access rights processes, and IT security is considered a bottleneck.

2. Responding to requests for access is considered slow.

3. Control over access management is decentralized.

4. Certain technologies are considered an important part of meeting identity governance and access management requirements.

5. A single-factor authentication approach is no longer effective.

6. Integration of machine learning within identity governance solutions is critical (64 percent of respondents).

7. The most difficult access policies to implement are those for enforcing access policies in a consistent fashion across all information resources in the organization.

8. End users have more access than they should.

9. Migration to Mobile First and mobile platforms has affected access management approaches.

10. New threats created by disruptive technologies will reduce organizations’ ability to mitigate governance and access management risks.

11. The ability to manage access in the Internet of Things (IoT) is a concern.

12. Effective identity governance and access management across the enterprise is achievable.

We hope you will read our latest report on this topic.


Dr. Larry Ponemon 

Ponemon Institute and Cloudera announce a webinar on the state of cybersecurity big data analytics on October 11 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET.
October 5, 2016, 9:00 am

Ponemon Institute and Cloudera announce a webinar on the state of cybersecurity big data analytics on October 11 at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET.

By Dr. Larry Ponemon

Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics, conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Cloudera, provides more evidence that the use of big data analytics is very important to ensuring a strong cybersecurity posture. Dr. Larry Ponemon and Rocky DeStefano, Cloudera’s cybersecurity subject matter expert, will participate in a webinar on October 11 to discuss key findings from the research.

Following are key findings from the research.

• Organizations are 2.25X more likely to identify a security incident within hours or minutes when they are a heavy user of big data cybersecurity analytics.

• Eighty-one percent of respondents say demand for big data for cybersecurity analytics has significantly increased over the past 12 months.

• Heavy users of big data analytics have a higher level of confidence in their ability to detect cyber incidents than light users.   With respect to 11 common cyber threats, the biggest gaps between heavy and light users concern the organization’s ability to detect advanced malware/ransomware, compromised devices (e.g., credential theft), zero day attacks and malicious insiders.  The smallest gaps in detection between heavy and light users concern denial of services, web-based attacks and spear phishing/social engineering.

• Companies represented in this research are allocating an average of $14.50 million to IT security in fiscal year 2016 and an average of $2.32 million (16 percent) of this budget is allocated to analytics tools.

We hope you will join us for a unique perspective on the state of big data cybersecurity analytics.

Register here.

SMBs are vulnerable to cyber attacks
July 1, 2016, 6:51 pm

We are pleased to announce the release of a study focused on the cybersecurity threat to small and medium-sized companies (SMBs). Based on the findings, we conclude that no business is too small to evade a cyber attack or data breach. In fact, 55 percent of respondents say they experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months and 50 percent of companies represented in this study had a data breach during the past year.

Throughout the world, MSSPs are improving security posture and fighting cyber threats
June 30, 2016, 12:00 am

We are pleased to announce the release of our first study dedicated to the topic of managed security services providers (MSSPs), sponsored by Raytheon. A key finding of the study is that companies using MSSPs understand the primary benefits of leveraging external expertise. MSSPs are gaining in popularity by providing such services as security information and event management (SIEM), network security management (NSM), endpoint detection and response (EDR), incident response, forensics, proactive threat hunting and more.

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