SolarWinds has announced the findings of its sixth annual Public Sector Cybersecurity Survey Report, which has revealed the lack of cyber confidence and organizational maturity across the public sector, the company reported on Tuesday.
“Led only by budget constraints, complexity of internal environments is one of the most significant high-level obstacles to maintaining or improving IT security, and respondents indicated it’s keeping them from easily segmenting users and adopting a zero-trust approach,” said Brandon Shopp, vice president for product strategy at SolarWinds.
The report surveyed 400 IT operations and security decision makers, including 200 federal, 100 state and local, and 100 education respondents.
SolarWinds has concluded that careless, untrained insiders are the leading source of security threats, followed by budget constraints and complexity, as significant barriers against improving IT security. Fifty-two percent of total respondents cited insiders as the top threat, consistent for both federal, state and local respondents.
The company also cited that respondents generally agreed that cybersecurity maturity requires attention across public sector organizations. Respondents rated the respective agencies maturity at a 3.5 on a scale of one to five.
In addition, SolarWinds found that less than half of public sector respondents are very confident in their team’s ability to keep up with evolving threats. The vast majority of respondents (86%) rely on in-house staff as their primary security team. Only 41% of this pool feel very confident in their team’s ability to maintain the right skills.
The report noted that the majority of public sector organizations measure the success of the IT security teams by evaluating metrics such as the number of detected incidents (58%) or the team’s ability to meet compliance goals (53%).
“These results clearly demonstrate the degree to which most public sector organizations are struggling to manage cyber risk,” said Tim Brown, vice president of security for SolarWinds. “It’s therefore no surprise that only four in ten respondents feel very confident their security team can keep up with the evolving threats.”
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