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Fortune 1000 Companies Two Times More Prone To Data Breaches, Says Report

9 March 2017, 5:51 am EST By Anne Baker Tech Times
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The top 1000 companies listed by Fortune magazine may be more vulnerable to security breaches when compared to peers which do not make the cut.

A report from BitSight, the standard for all security ratings, reveals that companies listed under Fortune magazines' 1000 top organizations are more prone to cyberattacks than non-Fortune listed companies.

The report states that Fortune 1000 companies are likely to suffer or have already suffered twice the amount of data breach compared to its peers. 

BitSight, released the report named How Secure Are America's Largest Business Partners? Rating The Cybersecurity Performance of the Fortune 1000 on March 8, which has looked into the security stance of some of the largest business corporations, which are listed under Fortune 1000.

What Is Fortune 1000?

Fortune 1000, similar to Fortune 500, is a list maintained and prepared by Fortune business magazine. The companies incorporated in the list are ranked according to their revenues. The Fortune 500 is a sub-division of this list.

The companies, which are considered eligible to be included in the list, should have the authorization to do business in the United States and should declare its revenues publicly. Walmart for a long period of five years ranked one on this list.

How Was The BitSight Study Conducted?

The Bitsight report presented information on the level of cybersecurity performance of Fortune 1000 companies and also went on to identify the most common system compromises that take place in a company. The report also gives recommendations for improvement for the same.

"This data can be used to better inform companies of the risks posed when sharing data or network access with Fortune 1000 organizations," said Stephen Boyer, CTO and co-founder of BitSight.

To identify the common system security breaches, BitSight studied the Fortune 1000 companies alongside 2,500 other companies, which were randomly selected and not included in the Fortune 1000 list.

The non-Fortune companies were chosen on the basis of two criteria: a similar industry breakdown and the company must have at least 2,500 employees.

BitSight then went on to study these two categories of companies by applying refined algorithms developed from evidence of security incidents gathered from all around the world to come up with regular security ratings for organizations.

The companies were given ratings ranging from 250 to 900, where a higher rating equaled lower risks.

Findings Of The Study

The key findings of the study stated that in the last 15 months, no less than one company out of every 20 companies listed in Fortune 1000 has undergone a breach that has been disclosed to the public. 

The report further states that most of the Fortune 1000 companies have at least one division in their administration which uses an open port system. With time, this has allowed illegal access to the company's systems unintentionally.

The report concludes by saying that the security performance of the Fortune 1000 companies on a whole has taken a dip. Only 53 companies have put in efforts to improve its security, whereas 103 companies from the list experienced a downfall in their ratings between October 2016 and January 2017.

Photo: Fortune Live Media | Flickr 

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