Mega-breaches are causing retailers to increase security budgets

A recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Identity Finder, LLC., reported that 61 percent of organizations increased their security budgets by an average of 34 percent in 2014. 

However, only 67 percent of respondents said that their organizations invested a sufficient amount of money into defending against security breaches, although 72 percent believed they have adequate tools and personnel to minimize a breach should one occur.

Retailers were quick to increase security budgets following the Target breach, but employees still feel they have a long way to go before being sufficiently secure. The study's respondents reported that the Target breach increased their employers' concerns over data breaches from a 5.7 to a 7.8 on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Most of the retailers reported spending the majority of their security budgets on security incident and event management systems (SIEM) to help detect attacks that have already occurred. Early detection is crucial, especially since 46 percent of retailers said they discovered breaches "on accident" and another 33 percent said they didn't discover a breach until over a year later. 

Other funds are reportedly being invested in enhanced IT and security training as well as the hiring of additional security personnel. About 56 percent of respondents developed incidence response teams for the first time.

"Businesses are clearly spending money to prevent cyber-attacks, but data breaches still occur. There must be a balance between blocking threats and reducing the footprint of vulnerable, sensitive data," Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder, said in the study.

Security budgets are likely to grow again this year, especially in the wake of the Home Depot, Sony and JP Morgan Chase breaches.

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