A recent survey of 300 information security professionals in Europe revealed that a mere 2% of companies surveyed would publicly report a security breach.
31% of companies said they would inform their employees of a security breach and 38% would choose to tell the relevant authorities. However, only 11% would share the information with the security community.
Companies that suffer a security breach can be put in a difficult position, said Barmak Meftah, president and CEO of AlienVault. "On the one hand, publicising a breach would help other businesses avoid falling prey to attacks," he explained. "On the other, damage to your brand and reputation could be significant."
When asked in the survey, 'what is the first thing you do when a new malware hits?', 5% said they would do nothing at all. However, 52% of companies said they would research the impact, 31% said they would look for a patch and only 1% said they would wait to see the full impact.
The survey revealed that 50% of companies would share intelligence with competitors following a hack, 35% said they would be willing to reveal it anonymously and 15% they would be happy to be named.
"Sharing information about the source and nature of attacks allows the security community to act fast and quickly isolate malicious or compromised hosts" said Meftah. "In addition, it helps identify attack methods, tools and patterns, all of which help fuel research on new defense technologies."
AlienVault created its Open Threat Exchange (OTX) to allow companies to share threat intelligence, learn defensive tactics and find free tools for security monitoring. OTX Reputation Monitor, included in both AlienVault's commercial USM product and open source OSSIM project, issues alerts if any member of the community experiences a security breach.