According to the study, organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to identify dark endpoints, which are rogue, out-of-compliance, or off-network devices that create blind spots and increase an organization’s vulnerability to attack.
While confidence in endpoint security ranked low, the IT security professionals surveyed believe that close to 60% of the hours currently invested in the capture and evaluation of intelligence surrounding the true threats, to both compliance and proprietary data, can be saved each week by deploying automated solutions.
“At the Ponemon Institute, we’ve followed the endpoint security industry closely for more than a decade. It’s clear that enterprises face real visibility and control challenges when it comes to protecting the data on corporate endpoints, ensuring compliance and keeping up with threats,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
“Enterprises need an automated approach to give IT pros visibility into endpoint security health and to better understand risk exposure, ensure compliance and improve visibility.”
The survey states that blind spots are large and growing. Organizations that are unable to identify threats lurking in their dark endpoints will be defenseless when attacks inevitably occur, and have no idea how to stay compliant with data protection laws, much less prevent attacks. 63% companies surveyed could not monitor endpoint devices when they left the corporate network, while 53% of companies reveal that malware-infected endpoints have increased in the past 12 months.
Out-of-date, unpatched or corrupted endpoint agents are the most common endpoint security gaps 55% of respondents say endpoint management and security applications have been removed or corrupted. And 55% of vulnerable endpoints have sensitive data.
Compliance and data protection are at risk. The survey states that even if organizations have some visibility into their endpoints, most lack the ability to prove endpoint compliance. These companies typically do not have adequate resources to monitor endpoints and will be slapped with regulatory action and reputation damage if they are compromised.
About 56% of companies lack a cohesive compliance strategy, and 70% report a “below average” ability to minimize endpoint failure damages. Only 28% of respondents say their organizations rely on automated analysis and inspection to determine compliance, even though 61% are interested in having automation in their security system.
“Managing endpoint security and protecting proprietary data is more than an IT issue, it’s increasingly a global business performance and national security concern,” said Geoff Haydon, CEO, Absolute.
“This study along with recent ransomware attacks and high-profile data breaches show the danger of today’s endpoint blind spots, and underscore that automation and newer approaches to endpoint security are key to safeguarding endpoints and the sensitive data on them for optimal business performance.”
Respondents believe automation increases efficiency and offers better visibility of dark endpoints. It costs organizations an average of $1.37 million annually in wasted time responding to erroneous malware alerts. Enterprises could save nearly $2.1 million annually with automated endpoint security solutions.
The survey respondents reported spending an average of 1,156 hours a week to detect and contain insecure endpoints, which is the equivalent of 28.9 full-time employees spending 100% of their time managing endpoints.
Only 21% of respondents say their organizations have a structured approach to endpoint risk management
that relies primarily upon automated tools. 21% revealed that their organization has no endpoint security at all and 48% dissatisfied with the endpoint security solution. The survey reports that 68% of malware can be handled by automation tools with zero human error. The report suggests that Savings on personnel costs combined with productivity gains and prevention of reputation loss or fines make automation a valuable investment.