Press release

Seven in Ten Cybersecurity Professionals Are Using or Considering Honey Pots, Deception Technology to Deliver Advanced Forensic and Attribution Capabilities

Sponsored by Businesswire

One in five companies are already using forensic investigations and
other sophisticated methods to identify their attackers, like setting up
honey pots and repositories of fake data to give attackers the idea
they’ve hit real data while acting as a diversion tactic, according to
the latest International Cyber Benchmark Index from the Neustar
International Security Council (NISC)

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International Cyber Benchmarks Index (Graphic: Business Wire)

International Cyber Benchmarks Index (Graphic: Business Wire)

Companies’ growing investment in advanced forensic capabilities that can
help identify attackers in greater detail is increasingly eclipsing what
most law-enforcement agencies are willing to devote. 72 percent of
respondents said their organization either already uses or would use
honey pots or deception technology. Furthermore, 71 percent of
respondents would let hackers take the fake or booby-trapped document to
gather counterintelligence – rather than shutting down an attack as soon
as a bad actor engages with a deceptive file – in an effort to identify
the thieves later or reveal information about the location, ownership
and possible vulnerabilities of the hackers’ machines.

Based on bi-monthly survey responses from security professionals across
EMEA and the United States, the unique Cyber Benchmark Index provides a
robust measure of the state of cybersecurity across these regions that
can be monitored over time. The latest survey reveals an increased
perception of threats, with the index reaching a new high of 21.5 — up
from 14.4 in March 2018 and 6.5 in May 2017, when NISC began mapping
threat levels. The previous index, released in January, was at 19.4.

Asked to rank six cyber threats in order from greatest to least concern
during January and February 2019, March survey respondents ranked DDoS
attacks as the top concern, as in the previous survey, followed closely
by system compromise and loss of intellectual property.

Just over half (51 percent) of respondents surveyed said their
enterprise had been on the receiving end of a DDoS attack at some point
in time, down from 52 percent last survey period (with a different
sample composition) but still well above the 43 percent average for the
full 11 rounds of the survey.

When asked whether the threat of various types of attacks had increased,
stayed the same or decreased during the previous two months, respondents
most frequently identified generalized phishing as a growing threat (52
percent), followed by targeted hacking and DDoS attacks (both 49
percent). The share of respondents indicating that a given threat had
decreased did not exceed single digits for any of the 14 threats on the

In considering the origin of attacks, 62 percent saw increasing threats
from the world at large, 55 percent saw increasing threats from their
own country and 51 percent saw increasing threats from their industry.
These figures are all higher than the overall survey averages (60, 50
and 45 percent, respectively).

“Security leaders increasingly feel that breaches are inevitable, and
there is a growing appetite for advanced forensic tools that can deliver
insights around attacker attribution and tactics in real-time,” said
Rodney Joffe, Chairman of NISC and Neustar Senior Vice President and
Fellow. “Whether they opt to use them like an alarm system, ejecting bad
actors from the network upon contact with a honey pot or deceptive file,
or for a more sophisticated counterintelligence operation that gathers
vital information on attacker movements and methods, cybersecurity
professionals want solutions that can provide better real-time awareness
and understanding of the enemy.”

NISC Cyber Benchmark Index methodology

The International Cyber Benchmarks Index is based on a bimonthly online
survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of NISC, of security
professionals across EMEA and the United States. The March 2019 survey
participants comprise 302 professionals from France, Germany, Italy,
Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. All survey respondents
hold senior positions within their organizations (director of IT,
network services manager, security consultant, CTO, etc.) and are able
to provide informed opinions about cybersecurity issues and how these
issues impact their enterprises and the wider business community.

The International Cyber Benchmarks Index figure is calculated using five
of the survey questions that are repeated in every survey and tracked
over time. An initial figure is taken from the percentage of enterprises
that say notable recent cyber events have directly affected the way they
protect their business. This figure is multiplied by the average “net
increase” percentages from across three separate questions, reflecting
(1) the change in the level of threat of attack by various vectors, (2)
the change in the risk of attack from various actors and (3) the change
in the threat landscape. This figure is then multiplied by the
percentage of enterprises that have ever been on the receiving end of a
DDoS attack.

About the Neustar International Security Council

The Neustar International Security Council is an elite group of select
cybersecurity leaders across key industries and companies. Through
face-to-face events including an annual summit, quarterly
thought-leadership seminars and regional roundtables, members learn and
share the latest trends from leading experts and peers. For more
information, visit

About Neustar, Inc.

Neustar, Inc., is a leading global information services provider driving
the connected world forward with responsible identity resolution. As a
company built on a foundation of Privacy by Design, Neustar is depended
upon by the world’s largest corporations to help grow, guard and guide
their businesses with the most complete understanding of how to connect
people, places and things. Neustar’s unique, accurate and real-time
identity system, continuously corroborated through billions of
transactions, empowers critical decisions across our clients’ enterprise
needs. More information is available at