Sometimes I wonder–Is it time for the entire Boomer generation to retire and pass the baton to the next generation? Here is another survey, this one on cybersecurity, that reveals executives know about a problem but have few or no plans to solve it soon.

People tell me constantly about surveys such as this one or training opportunities where executives and engineers in Europe pursue knowledge and those in Asia cannot satisfy their demand for standards and knowledge. And in the US? Not so much interest.

Here is a poll by a security company, Indegy, who (maybe not so surprisingly since it sells solutions) uncovered the gap yet again.

The poll found that nearly 60 percent of executives at critical infrastructure operators polled in a recent survey said they lack appropriate controls to protect their environments from security threats. As expected, nearly half of all respondents indicated their organizations plan to increase spending for industrial control system (ICS) security measures in the next 12-24 months.

“We have been tracking the escalation in cyber threat activity specifically targeting critical infrastructures for some time,” says Barak Perelman, CEO of Indegy. “As the recent joint DHS/FBI CERT Technical Alert illustrates, adversaries have compromised facilities across the US to conduct reconnaissance and likely develop “Red Button” capability for future attacks.”

Lack of Visibility and Control Cited

While organizations have made significant investments to secure their IT infrastructures, they have not fully addressed threats to operational technology (OT) environments. The recent Indegy poll of nearly 100 executives from various critical infrastructure organizations underscores the lack of preparedness in key sectors including energy, utilities and manufacturing. Among the key findings:

  • 35% of respondents said they have little visibility into the current state of security within their environment, while 23% reported they have no visibility
  • 63% claimed that insider threats and misconfigurations are the biggest security risks they currently face
  • 57% said they are not confident that their organization, and other infrastructure companies, are in control of OT security
  • Meanwhile, 44% of respondents indicated an increase in ICS spending was planned in the next 12 to 24 months, with 29% reporting they were not sure
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