Threats to companies' information security are accelerating at a significantly faster pace than the security enhancements those organizations are making, according to a recent Ernst & Young survey. Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated an increase in external threats, and nearly half (46%) said they have noticed an increase in internal vulnerabilities.

"The bad actors are leaping ahead, and there are more of them," says Chip Tsantes, a principal at Ernst & Young. And their motivations are different from what they were in the past.

"It's one thing when you were dealing with criminal networks who were looking for credit card numbers or to drain bank accounts," Tsantes says. "Now we have anonymous groups and certain nation states that are behind attacks against financial services companies, not for monetary gain but just to harass or try and get other information or disrupt the economy of the U.S." He adds that such groups are also targeting the defense, energy and telecommunications industries.

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