A majority of organizations saw an increase in cyber security challenges in the past year and many experienced at least one incident, according to a new report from IT solutions provider US Signal.

The company surveyed about 120 security experts, and 81 percent said cyber security challenges had risen in the previous year, while 40 percent experienced at least one security incident in that time period. Another 13 percent did not know if they had experienced an attack.

Based on these results, the report said, it’s clear that most organizations are still vulnerable to security threats, and there is a need for stronger investment in defenses and education about security.

The top three security challenges identified by survey respondents are protecting against email-related threats, such as ransomware, malware and phishing; transitioning legacy systems that no longer receive security updates; and ensuring that the organization is always up to date with patches and current software versions.

The findings suggest that users still don’t understand email security best practices and that many organizations could benefit from increased phishing and Internet safety education programs. It’s also evident that patches and updates are now top of mind, as many of the last year’s largest data breaches relied on the exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities, according to the report.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.