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As the U.S. natural gas pipeline sector and the Department of Homeland Security square off against malicious cyber intrusions aimed at companies, along comes yet another study that highlights serious governance shortcomings of critical infrastructure companies when it comes to cybersecurity. “The Governance of Enterprise Security: CyLab 2012 Report” [PDF], released last week by Carnegie Mellon University, offers the first side-by-side comparison of industries on governance practices and cybersecurity oversight. Compared against the financial, IT/telecom, and industrials sectors, energy/utilities companies fared the worst. “Of the critical infrastructure respondents, the energy/utilities sector had the poorest governance practices,” writes study author Jody Westby in Forbes (a co-sponsor of the survey, along with RSA). “When asked whether their organizations were undertaking six best practices for cyber governance, the energy/utilities sector ranked last for four of the practices and next to last for the other two.” The energy/utilities sector responses, as reported by Forbes, broke down as follows:

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