Only a third of businesses have the ability to detect data breaches within minutes.
A survey of 500 senior IT decision makers by McAfee found that 35 per cent had the ability to uncover breaches within minutes, while 22 per cent said they would need a day to identify a breach. On average, organisations reported that it takes ten hours for a security breach to be recognised.
While 73 per cent of respondents said that they can assess their security status in real-time, of the 58 per cent of organisations that said they had suffered a security breach in the last year, just a quarter (24 per cent) had recognised it within minutes.
Michael Fey, executive vice president and worldwide chief technology officer at McAfee, said: “If you're in a fight, you need to know that while it's happening, not after the fact. This study has shown what we've long suspected - that far too few organisations have real-time access to the simple question ‘am I being breached?' Only by knowing this, can you stop it from happening.”
Similar research released by Lancope found that over two-thirds of large organisations said they either had not experienced a security incident in the last 12-18 months, or were unsure if they had.
Tom Cross, Lancope's director of security research, said: “Any organisation needs to know whether or not they've been subject to a security breach, and if companies believe they have not, the question may be are they really aware of everything that is happening on their networks.”
Respondents to Lancope's survey indicated that the most common incidents they were aware of were malware (18 per cent), denial-of-service (16 per cent) and insider attacks (12 per cent).
This year's Data Breach Investigations report from Verizon found that the number of breaches that remain undiscovered for months or more rose from 55 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent in 2012, while discovery time was a number of months for 62 per cent of respondents.