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Security Breaches Rise for Utilities and Energy Industries, Finds Ponemon Institute

Ponemon Institute recently conducted a research titled "The State of IT Security: Study of Utilities and Energy Companies" which reveals that there's a surge in security breaches impacting utilities and energy industries, thus published Isssource.com on April 6, 2011.

Questioning some 291 IT security and IT personnel, the survey discusses the enormous rise in threats, while cautions that crucial energy infrastructures are vulnerable ever since PC viruses such as Stuxnet has indicated the potentiality of its creators to attack energy companies, plants as well as other crucial systems.

Meanwhile, for long it had been perceived that energy companies and plants were beyond hackers' focus, but these now report of attacks against them. Accordingly, during the Ponemon survey, 76% of respondents out of the total IT security members questioned said that there had been at least 1 data hack on their organization during the past twelve months.

Indeed, according to 48%, they were aware about one incident, 13% about 2-5 incidents, 9% about 5 or more, whereas 6% were unable to determine any. Understandably, 12% of the data hacks were because of external assaults, 5% because of internal assaults, 28% were inadvertent leakages, 18% resulted from botnets or malware, 8% from privileged IT personnel's abuses, 16% from external business associates' and other vendors' abuses, 2% because of exfiltrations i.e. assaults from internal sources, and 11% that were undetermined

Moreover, the report suggests that according to 69% of respondents, they expect at least one security breach over the forthcoming twelve months.

Remarking about these worrisome discoveries, Founder Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute stated that an extremely scary issue, which he perceived, was that it took a mean of 22 days for determining unauthorized modifications that insiders made, indicating the scale at which organizations were currently vulnerable. V3.co.uk published this on April 7, 2011.

Ponemon further stated that the above outcomes suggested that there was a struggling effort at utilities and energy industries for identifying the security problems inflicting them, adding that the industries needed to bring IT and operations closer together while assigning top priority to IT security at their establishments.

Related article: Securities Push Up A Must For Web Companies

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