WSJ: Survey Roundup: Defense Industry Threats, Bad Document Habits

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WSJ: Survey Roundup: Defense Industry Threats, Bad Document Habits

Originally Published in WSJ Risk & Compliance Journal | Februrary 7, 2014 | Ben Dipietro

A ThreatTrack Security survey of 100 IT/security managers at U.S. defense contractors found 62% of respondents said their company remains vulnerableto an advanced malware attack. The survey found spending on cybersecurity doesn’t by itself inspire confidence that networks are safe from attacks. Of the respondents whose companies have cybersecurity budgets of more  than $10 million, 60.9% said they feel vulnerable. In companies with a budget of $5 million to $10 million, 66.7% said so, as did 76.9% at contractors with budgets of $1 million to $5 million.

Regardless of industry, a survey of 374 board directors, C-suite executives and other top management ranked changes in the regulatory environment and heightened scrutiny by regulators as the top risk facing their business in 2014. The Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2014 report by global consulting firm Protiviti and North Carolina State University found executives also worried about economic conditions restricting growth and uncertainty surrounding political leadership affecting U.S. and international markets.

A survey of 532 professionals by information security company Globalscape found employees continue to rely on unsecured, consumer-grade tools to send sensitive corporate documents. The survey reported 63% of employees use remote storage devices to transfer confidential work files, 30% use cloud storage services and more than 60% of employees use personal email to transfer work information, with nearly 75% believing IT approves of this behavior.

The number of fraud victims in 2013 totaled 13.1 million people, 500,000 more than in 2012, according to the 2014 Identity Fraud Study by consultancy Javelin Strategy & Research. The 11th edition of the study found the total dollar amount stolen through fraud decreased to $18 billion, way below the all-time high of $48 billion in 2004. It said 33% of the people who received a data breach notification letter became an identity fraud victim, and that account takeover fraud hit a new record in incidence, accounting for 28% of all identity fraud.

Global risk analytics company Maplecroft issued a report listing Qatar as among 11 countries it downgraded  to “extreme risk” for working conditions. The company’s Working Conditions Index looked at 197 countries, evaluating working conditions by examining minimum wage levels, working hours and health and safety in the workplace. Also downgraded was Nigeria, which the report said showed the biggest increase in risk. The company also released a report on global risks and resilience and found 30% of African economies are experiencing an increase in exposure to external cross-border shocks, such as conflict, climate change, pandemics and a lack of food, water and energy security, which could jeopardize their recent economic gains.

Corruption is costing the member states of the European Union around 120 billion euros a year, a report from the European Commission said. While EU countries are working to crack down on corruption, the report said they should be doing more to prevent and punish people engaging in corrupt activities. A survey included in the report found 76% of Europeans believe corruption is widespread, and 56% say the level of corruption in their country has risen in the past three years.

The “financial return crowdfunding market” does not present a systemic risk to the global financial sector at present, but various factors could modify this outlook, a report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions found. The report, Crowd-funding: An Infant Industry Growing Fast, found financial return crowd-funding poses many risks and raises a number of investor protection issues—and said regulators and governments need to strike a balance between encouraging crowdfunding and mitigating the risks associated with its growth.

A report by governance firm LRN that measures companies through a“freedom index” that considers a company’s relationships with employees, customers and community found 20% of firms scored high on all the major freedom relationships. Basing the report on a survey of more than 800 professionals and executives at U.S. companies, the report found companies that score high on the index vastly outperform financially those who don’t. It also found deeply embedded values are more prevalent in high freedom and that humanistic values matter more for business performance.

Executive event company Consero Corp. surveyed Fortune 1000 chief intellectual property officers in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries and found 59% said a new patent law that took effect last year hasaltered their approach to the patent process. The survey also found 88% of survey participants reported R&D is mostly performed in house and 55% said they are pursuing M&A opportunities to enhance their research and development pipeline.

Write to Ben DiPietro at, and follow him on Twitter @BenDiPietro1.