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Friday, March 9, 2018

CyberEdge finds rising security concerns

A report published March 7, 2018, by CyberEdge noted year-over-year growth in security concerns and threats. Researchers surveyed 1,200 information technology managers from 17 countries and 19 industries to examine the emerging threat landscape and respondents' security postures, investments and strategies for this fifth annual report. Respondents cited cloud security, data privacy, access control and threat monitoring among their leading challenges.

"Although we've presented multiple pieces of evidence to suggest that IT security has finally stemmed the tide of successful cyberattacks, this doesn't mean that life is peachy keen," researchers wrote. "Far from it."

Lack of skilled workers

Survey respondents cited lack of skilled IT personnel, low security awareness and data overload as leading inhibitors to data protection. "Last year's stunning finding that nearly nine out of ten organizations are experiencing a shortage of IT security talent validated recurring headlines that claim there's a global shortage of one to two million cybersecurity professionals," researchers wrote. "The good news, if it can be called that, is that our results this time around show a modest improvement in this area, with only eight out of ten (i.e., four in five), now indicating that their organizations are impacted by the security talent shortfall."

Terry Ray, Chief Technology Officer at Imperva, a cybersecurity firm, stated that the global, industrywide security skills shortage is well-documented, so this isn't a surprise. "However, to help overcome deficiencies in their human teams, organizations can bolster their cyber defences and bridge the skills gap using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)," he wrote. "ML software can perform preventative and analytical security processes and can detect threats at a much greater speed than humans, helping to prevent attacks."

Ray further recommended a four-pronged approach to security that includes discovery, monitoring, analytics and remediation. Securing data is a complex process; companies must know where their data is stored, who has access and how to identify and remediate anomalies, he noted.

Rising concerns, threats

CyberEdge researchers used aggregated data across all inhibitor ratings to create a Security Concern Index. The index has been rising steadily, year-over-year, from 48.3 percent in 2014 to 70.8 percent in 2018. "Think of this as a way to determine how stressed out security professionals are about the things standing in the way of doing their jobs," they wrote.

Following are additional report highlights:

  • Malware: Malware continues to be the leading concern among security professionals. Advanced malware analysis was the top planned acquisition in 2018 mentioned by respondents.

  • Insider threats: While insider threats fell from third to tenth place in the survey, Ray warned against complacency, stating the threat remains real. "To protect against insider threats, organizations can depend on solutions that leverage machine learning to analyze patterns in user behavior and detect insider threats at a much greater speed than humans," he said.

  • Ransomware: CyberEdge reported a decline in ransomware attacks from 61 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2017. Among organizations that paid ransoms to hackers, 49 percent retrieved their data; the other 51 percent reported a total loss. Among companies that refused to pay ransoms, 87 percent recovered their data and 13 percent lost their data, researchers noted.

For a copy of the CyberEdge survey, visit cyber-edge.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CyberEdge-2018-CDR.pdf . end of article

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