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US government organizations lose millions in an average network outage or data breach

US government organizations lose millions in an average network outage or data breach

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A report from Infoblox reveals that nearly 300 US federal, state and local government IT decision-makers see dangers ahead as teams continue remote work into 2021.

Infoblox, a leader in Secure Cloud-Managed Network Services, has unveiled new research into the foundational infrastructure challenges faced by networking and security decision-makers in the US government.

The report reveals a disruptive year of workforce transformation forced by the COVID-19 shutdowns during which respondents also handled expensive fallouts from network outages and data breaches.

Based on 294 responses from federal, state and local government IT decision-makers, key survey findings include:

  • Cybersecurity breaches inflict multi-million dollar pain on government organizations: 81% of respondents estimated data breaches have cost their organizations at least US$1 million.
  • The majority of network outages exceeds US$1 million in damages: 60% of networking outages cost at least US$1 million in operational disruptions, reputational damage, lost data and financial losses.
  • Networking and security challenges are inter-connected: 40% said preventing network outages was their top cybersecurity challenge, edging out the hiring and retention of qualified IT staff and securing cloud application data (38% each). Respondents rated network monitoring (73%) and threat intelligence (66%) as the most effective technologies for mitigating these challenges.
  • Cloud networking attacks are rising: 84% of respondents experienced one or more cloud networking attacks in the last 12 months.
  • As cyberattacks escalate, security budgets continue to grow: 67% of respondents’ budgets grew from 2019 to 2020 and 73% estimate an increase from 2020 to 2021.

Respondents also indicated that the costs of network outages extend far beyond direct financial damages. They cited concerns over lost productivity, reputational damage, loss of intellectual property, breach notification processing and legal ramifications as unpleasant consequences to prevent.

“The COVID-19 shutdowns strained government IT resources as teams were time-pressed to secure remote workers while building out the infrastructure,” said Allen McNaughton, Director of Sales Engineering, Infoblox Public Sector. “As the cascading SolarWinds breach reminds us, the US government faces well-resourced attackers capable of finding and exploiting unexpected gaps. Government IT teams have the tough job of building out cloud infrastructure while defending it and legacy systems, which raises the stakes.”

“Fortunately, government IT teams are prioritizing network visibility and security investments to directly address their areas of top concern,” added McNaughton. “This correlates with demand for our core networking and security services, which has grown substantially year-over-year. Infoblox securely extends a customer’s network into the cloud and sources DNS traffic insights that BloxOne Threat Defense uses along with other threat intelligence feeds and mitigation tools to provide defense-in-depth for on-premises and remote systems.”

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