A recent survey of 614 U.S. IT security practitioners involved in advanced threat detection activities found that half of respondents think their organization is an unlikely target for a cyber attack.

The survey, sponsored by Prelert and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, also found that fully 61 percent of respondents don't feel confident in their organization's ability to detect advanced threats.

"This research reveals some major disconnects that IT professionals seem to have between perception and reality," Ponemon Institute chairman and founder Dr. Larry Ponemon said in a statement. "While even circumstantial evidence points to the increasing volume and severity of cyberthreats, it's shocking to learn that half of security pros don't even view themselves as a target."

"We're also seeing discrepancies in the way teams are viewing and reacting to advanced persistent threats," Ponemon added. "Overall, they're not confident in their ability to detect advanced threats, but they're not doing much about it."

Fully 60 percent of respondents said they believe poor threat intelligence had resulted in an inability to stop at least five security breaches in the past two years. Six percent said poor threat intelligence had resulted in an inability to stop more than 10 breaches in the same timeframe.

When asked what types of cyber attacks they were most concerned about, 67 percent said advanced persistent threats, 57 percent said zero-day attacks, and 37 percent said login attacks.

Still, 43 percent said they didn't anticipate any change in their use of advanced threat detection technologies over the next 12 months -- and 6 percent anticipated a decrease in their use of such technologies.

And while just 36 percent of respondents said their IT security team uses security analytics, 64 percent of those respondents said it's either essential (19 percent) or very important (45 percent).

"These results show that organizations are moving slowly to adopt security analytics technology as part of their advanced threat detection programs," Prelert CEO Mark Jaffe said in a statement.

While 59 percent of respondents said being able to spot the difference between normal and abnormal behavior is important to identifying potential intrusions, just 38 percent say their IT security team is capable of doing so.

A recent eSecurity Planet article offered a buying guide for advanced threat detection solutions.

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