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Challenges with Data Weaken Cybersecurity Posture for Government Agencies

Splunk Survey Reveals More than Half of Public and Private Sectors Report Difficulties Leveraging Data to Inform Cybersecurity Decisions


 Public sector organizations are more likely to struggle with leveraging data to detect and prevent threats than their private sector counterparts (63% to 49%), ultimately affecting their cybersecurity readiness. That’s according to a survey commissioned by Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), the data platform leader for security and observability.

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The survey found two-thirds (66%) of public sector agencies have difficulties leveraging data to mitigate and recover from cybersecurity incidents and half (52%) of the sector have issues leveraging data to inform cybersecurity decisions. This visibility challenge was also relatively high within the private sector, sharing a similar majority opinion (56% and 50%), showcasing consistency across industries. Another area of concern, both private and public sector respondents noted disparate data sets inhibit agility and real-time response to security events (84% private sector and 56% of public sector).

These data challenges also directly impact partnerships between the public and private sectors and their ability to share intelligence. For example, nearly half of public sector organizations (44%) believe the shared intelligence available to them is lacking for their cybersecurity needs. However, both public and private sector organizations agree on three benefits of intelligence sharing:

  • Improved agility (36% public & 44% private)
  • Greater visibility (32% public & 34% private)
  • Targeted preventative and proactive measures (29% public & 23% private)

There is also alignment on what is most important to share [insights or information on]:

  • Threat intelligence and actors (69% public and 63% private)
  • Real-time information on security events (60% public and 69% private)
  • Cybersecurity training materials and best practices (79% public and 68% private)
  • Benchmarked data (36% public and 31% private)

In light of this, the public and private sectors share similar cybersecurity priorities, including:

  • Improving threat response/remediation (55% public and 53% private)
  • Improving detection of emerging threats (49% public and 47% private)
  • Improving user security awareness (46% public and 50% private)

“At the core, security is a data problem and organizations are missing a foundational piece of their security strategy when they cannot leverage their data,” said Bill Rowan, VP Public Sector, Splunk. “All organizations — both private and public — have a responsibility to citizens and customers to enable cyber resiliency and that can be done by having clear visibility and understanding of data. These shared challenges and priorities should translate into better threat intelligence sharing and security practices across all sectors.”

When looking ahead, both public and private sector organizations plan a wide-array of investments to address these cybersecurity priorities. The top investments include:

  • Monitoring/alerting (60% public and 59% private)
  • Threat intelligence (44% public and 46% private), and
  • Security assessments (40% public and 45% private)

However, it is important to note private sector respondents are more likely to be planning investments in security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR), centralized log management, and observability.

For more insights and recommendations from the 2022 Public Sector Survey, please visit the Splunk website.


Foundry Research conducted an online survey in late October/early November among 210 U.S-based individuals on the topic of leveraging data to improve cybersecurity posture. All respondents work in IT and IT/data security management roles, and they represented an even split between public and private sectors. Average organization size was 5,643 employees.


About Splunk Inc.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) helps organizations around the world turn data into doing. Splunk technology is designed to investigate, monitor, analyze and act on data at any scale.

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