Survey: Cybersecurity pros endorse data breach notification rules

Three quarters of ISACA members say they support Obama's proposal

More than three-quarters of ISACA members support a data breach notification proposal from President Barack Obama.

More than three-quarters of ISACA members support a data breach notification proposal from President Barack Obama.

U.S. President Barack Obama's call for a nationwide data breach notification law has won strong support from members of one cybersecurity-focused organization.

More than three quarters of ISACA members surveyed by the cybersecurity training and benchmarking organization said they agreed or strongly agreed with Obama's proposal to require breached organizations to notify affected customers within 30 days. Only about 8 percent of the 3,400 respondents said they disagreed or strongly disagreed. Most of ISACA's 115,000 members are IT professionals.

Asked what the biggest challenge companies would face in complying with a breach notification law, 55 percent of those surveyed said it would be a concern over corporate reputation. Other 15 percent said the biggest challenge would be systems not designed for data breach reporting, and 13 percent said increased costs.

More data breach reporting will lead to companies taking new steps to protect their data, said Robert Stroud, international president of ISACA and vice president of strategy and innovation at CA Technologies. A new law will make cybersecurity "an agenda item" among company leaders, he said. "There are some organizations potentially not giving this the level of diligence they should."

Obama is expected to call for a breach notification law during his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. More than 45 states have their own breach notification laws, but there's no national standard. U.S. lawmakers have been trying to pass a national law for about a decade without success.

Obama is also expected to propose new ways to allow organizations to share cyberthreat information with each other and with government agencies, with protection from lawsuits. While some cyberthreat sharing proposals have raised concerns among privacy advocates, the U.S. needs to find ways to allow companies and government agencies to alert each other of attacks, Stroud said.

A threat information-sharing bill would be a "great initiative," Stroud said. "If Washington acts, we hope they take a clear and straight-forward approach, working in close coordination with industry."

The ISACA survey, completed last week, also asked respondents whether they expect a cyberattack to strike their organizations in 2015. Only 46 percent said they expect a cyberattack, while 24 percent said they were unsure.

Respondents may have read the question to mean a major cyberattack, not more common probing of their networks for weaknesses, Stroud said. "At many organizations, probably every day, there is an attempt" to gain entry into a company's system, he said.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their organization is prepared for a sophisticated cyberattack, while 34 percent said they were unsure. Eighty-three percent said they believe cyberattacks are among the three biggest threats facing organizations.

Asked if there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers, 86 percent agreed. Thirty-four percent said they plan to hire more cybersecurity workers in 2015 but expect the search to be difficult. Only 3 percent plan to hire and expect it to be easy to find skilled candidates.

And 54 percent said they find it difficult to identify which new college graduates have adequate skills and knowledge.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CA TechnologiesregulationsecurityISACAdata breachlegislationgovernmentBarack ObamaRobert Stroud

More about CA TechnologiesIDGISACANews

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Grant Gross

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place