The saying “ignorance is bliss” is a tricky one. Certainly, if we are unaware of a threat, we cannot fear it, but that also means we cannot prepare for it. But, unfortunately, even when we are aware of a potential threat, we might not feel ready to deal with it head on. That seems to be the opinion of general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies who, according to a new survey from iThreat Cyber Group, are aware of potential cyber threats to their intellectual property, but are not as prepared for those threats as they could be.
Results of the study, which tabulated results from general counsel, deputy general counsel, business unit general counsel and other inside counsel , outlined several concerns that are top-of-mind for GCs. “The results were telling, but not surprising. They were very similar to what I expected to see,” says Jeff Bedser, founder and CEO of iThreat Cyber Group. “I expected respondents to be a little more confident with where their companies stood than what it turned out.”
“I can be prepared for the things I am aware of, and I can be addressing those issues,” says Bedser, “but there are threats that you cannot be aware of because no one knows about them.” This is frightening to many inside counsel, but once they start realizing that this is a risk they must take seriously, they can begin to look at steps to address these threats, both known and unknown.
Bedser says that, to him, the results of the survey raise specific questions, such as where awareness is more deficient, and if the gaps in security are because of budgetary reasons. He speculates that much of the data could vary based on size and scope of the companies involved.