Practitioners Give Global Cybersecurity a “C” According to New Research from Tenable Network Security


International survey of information security professionals identifies cloud, mobile devices and board-level involvement as common areas of weakness across seven key industry verticals

Tenable LogoTenable Network Security has released findings from the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card, in which the world’s information security practitioners gave global cybersecurity readiness a “C” average with an overall score of 76 percent.

The 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card tallied responses from six countries and seven industry verticals, and also calculated a global score reflecting the overall confidence levels of security practitioners that the world’s cyber defenses are meeting expectations.

According to survey data, global cybersecurity earned an overall score of 76 percent—an underwhelming “C” average. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they feel “about the same” or “more pessimistic” about their organisations’ ability to defend against cyber attacks compared to last year. When asked about the biggest challenges facing them today, the practitioners cited an overwhelming threat environment as the biggest challenge, while reporting relative confidence in the effectiveness of cybersecurity products.

“What this tells me is that while security innovations solve specific new challenges, practitioners are struggling to effectively deploy an overarching security strategy without gaps between defenses,” said Ron Gula, CEO, Tenable Network Security. “It’s no surprise that many in the profession feel overwhelmed by the increasingly complex threat environment. The recent, unprecedented cyberattacks have disrupted business for leading global companies, infiltrated governments and shaken confidence among security practitioners. With so much at stake, organisations need to know whether their security programs are effective or if they are falling short.”

Key Global Findings
Cloudy days ahead – Respondents consistently cited cloud applications (graded D+) and cloud infrastructure (D) as two of the three most challenging IT components for assessing cybersecurity risks.

A mobile dilemma – Mobile devices (D) also were reported as particularly challenging when assessing cyber risks. The inability to even detect transient mobile devices in the first place (C) was another big challenge for the world’s security practitioners.

Uninvested board members – On the upside, respondents largely believe they have the tools in place to measure overall security effectiveness (B-) and to convey security risks to executives and board members. On the downside, respondents question whether their executives and board members fully understand those security risks (C+) and are investing enough to mitigate them (C).

Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Country
Australia: D+ (69 percent)
Canada: C+ (77 percent)
Germany: C- (72 percent)
Singapore: C- (72 percent)
United Kingdom: C (74 percent)
United States: B- (80 percent)

Overall Cybersecurity Assurance Report Cards by Industry
Education: D (64 percent)
Financial Services: B- (81 percent)
Government: D (66 percent)
Health Care: C (73 percent)
Manufacturing: C (76 percent)
Retail: C+ (77 percent)
Telecom & Technology: B- (81 percent)

“These index scores reflect a startling lack of ability to detect and assess cyber risk in both cloud infrastructure and applications as well as mobile devices,” said Gula. “Another concern is the uphill battle security professionals face in mobilising their organizations’ leadership to prioritize security. There’s a disconnect between the CISO and the boardroom that must be bridged before real progress can be made.”

Original research for the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card was conducted by CyberEdge Group, a premier research and marketing firm serving the security industry’s top vendors. To view or download the full report, visit

For additional information and deeper insights into what the Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card means for your business, join the “Tenable 2016 Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card: Key Insights and Takeaways“ webinar.

AMER webinar: December 1, 2015, 2:00pm EST – Register Now

APAC webinar: December 1, 2015, 9:00am HKT – Register Now

EMEA webinar: December 2, 2015, 2:00pm GMT – Register Now

About the 2016 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card
Tenable surveyed 504 IT security professionals employed by organizations with 1,000+ employees in August 2015. A 12-question web-based survey asked respondents to provide a rating on a five-point scale. By adding together the two most-favorable responses (e.g., strongly agree + somewhat agree) for each question, and then averaging together associated responses, two summary indices were derived. The Risk Assessment Index measured an organisation’s ability to assess cybersecurity risks across 10 key components of enterprise IT infrastructure. The Security Assurance Index measured an organisation’s ability to mitigate threats by investing in security infrastructure fueled by executive and board level commitment. The index scores were averaged to produce the overall report card score for each country and industry. For more information, please visit

About Tenable Network Security
Tenable Network Security provides continuous network monitoring to identify vulnerabilities, reduce risk, ensure compliance and respond to threats. Our family of products includes SecurityCenter Continuous View, which provides the most comprehensive and integrated view of network health, and Nessus, the global standard in detecting and assessing network data. Tenable is relied upon by many of the world’s largest corporations, not-for-profit organisations and public sector agencies. For more information, please visit


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