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Economist Intelligence Unit and Arbor Networks Research Show 83 Percent of Businesses are Not Fully Prepared for an Online Security Incident

Arbor Networks, Inc., a leading provider of DDoS and advanced threat protection solutions for enterprise and service provider networks, today announced the results of a survey it sponsored with the Economist Intelligence Unit on the issue of incident response preparedness. The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 360 senior business leaders, the majority of whom (73%) are C-level management or board members from across the world, with 31% based in North America, 36% in Europe and 29% in Asia-Pacific.

The report entitled “Cyber incident response: Are business leaders ready? shows that despite 77 percent of companies suffering an incident in the past two years, over a third of firms (38 percent) still have no incident response plan in place should an incident occur. Only 17 percent of businesses globally are fully prepared for an online security incident.

More prepared firms that do have a response plan in place typically rely on the IT department to lead this process, but the majority also draw upon external resources – primarily IT forensic experts, specialist legal advisers and law enforcement experts.

“There is an encouraging trend towards formalizing corporate incident response preparations. But with the source and impact of threats becoming harder to predict, executives should make sure that incident response becomes an organizational reflex rather than just a plan pulled down off the shelf,” said James Chambers, a senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Arbor Networks President Matthew Moynahan added, “As these findings show, when it comes to cyber-attacks, we live in a “when” not “if” world. In the wake of recent high profile targeted attacks in the retail sector, a company’s ability to quickly identify and classify and incident, and execute a response plan, is critical to not only protecting corporate assets and customer data, but the brand, reputation and bottom line of the company.”

Key findings:

Level of preparedness is being held back by lack of understanding about threats

  • Only 17 percent of business leaders feel fully prepared for an incident.
  • 41 percent of business leaders feel a better understanding of potential threats would help them be better prepared.
  • Having a formal plan or team in place has a significant effect on feeling of preparedness among executives.
  • Half of all companies feel that they are unable to predict the business impact when a breach occurs.

Emphasis on reputation is driving formalization of plans and processes

  • Two-thirds of executives say that responding effectively to an incident can enhance their firm’s reputation.
  • The percentage of organisations that now have an incident response team and plan in place is set to rise above 80 percent in the next few years.
  • Firms that have suffered an incident in the past 24 months are twice as likely to have an arrangement with a third party expert as firms that have not suffered an incident.

Firms remain reticent about disclosing incidents and sharing intelligence about threats

  • 57 percent of organisations do not voluntarily report incidents where they are not legally required to do so.
  • Only a third of companies share information about incidents with other organisations to spread best practice and benchmark their own response.

Additional Resources:

  • Download the full report here
  • Visit the Arbor Networks blog for a summary of key findings
  • Follow @arbornetworks on Twitter for more key findings

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the world leader in global business intelligence. It is the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist newspaper. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, the Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies. More information about The Economist Intelligence Unit can be found at or follow us on

About Arbor Networks

Arbor Networks, Inc. helps secure the world’s largest enterprise and service provider networks from DDoS attacks and advanced threats. Arbor is the world’s leading provider of DDoS protection in the enterprise, carrier and mobile market segments, according to Infonetics Research. Arbor’s advanced threat solutions deliver comprehensive network visibility through a combination of packet capture and NetFlow technology, enabling the rapid detection and mitigation of malware and malicious insiders. Arbor also delivers market leading analytics for dynamic incident response, historical analysis, visualization and forensics. Arbor strives to be a “force multiplier,” making network and security teams the experts. Our goal is to provide a richer picture into networks and more security context - so customers can solve problems faster and help reduce the risk to their business.

To learn more about Arbor products and services, please visit our website at Arbor’s research, analysis and insight, together with data from the ATLAS® global threat intelligence system, can be found at the ATLAS Threat Portal.

Trademark Notice: Arbor Networks, Peakflow, ArbOS, ATLAS, Pravail, Arbor Optima, Arbor Cloud, Cloud Signaling, the Arbor Networks logo and Arbor Networks: Smart. Available. Secure. are all trademarks of Arbor Networks, Inc. All other brand names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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