‘Crossing the bridge when we come to it’ is not a wise thing to do, at least when it comes to cybersecurity. Two retailers learnt this the hard way when millions of their shoppers’ credit cards were compromised due to data breaches. They’re now facing litigation and have even suffered the ignominy of appearing before the U.S. senate for questioning1. Could these incidents have been prevented with vigilance and proactive care? I certainly think so.
I was reading UBM Tech’s research report related to cybersecurity in which they’ve surveyed 146 business technology managers to understand the changing perception of security and their preparedness to handle cyber threats. The responses were a mixed bag and gave interesting insights into their current state of security and perception of security posture. For example, I would have expected respondents’ to have a password for mobile devices, even if a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is not deployed, but saw that almost 15% of the respondents’ did not have passwords enabled on their mobile devices nor “sufficient” BYOD policies implemented. With growing acceptance of BYOD in the security ecosystem followed by rapid deployment of MDM platforms, Enterprises are expected to implement access control on mobile devices and also monitor them for threat actions, violations and conceal potential entry points for adversaries.
Another important point highlighted by the survey was that 77% of the Organizations have started a structured communication process on security events, potential threats, “Dos and Don’ts” of security behavior periodically with their user community, thus creating better user awareness.
According to the report, security budget allocation is on the rise and justifying this requires a meticulous study of identifying critical security programs to be executed, identifying critical staff who need to be retained, technology refreshments required etc. Nearly half of the respondents planned to increase the security budget between 5% and 15% and are in the process of identifying the critical points of security ecosystem which are susceptible to adversaries, misconfigurations and operational errors.
Security management still seems to be driven by the myth of protecting the boundaries which is evident with 38% of respondents completely managing their security operations internally; rest of the respondents outsourced their security operations partially or completely. In my view, security operations should be outsourced in order to reduce cost of operations, streamline security governance, and provide better resilience Outsourcing and Cloudsourcing still seems to be catching up in the context of security services which is evident with above 50% of the respondents having no strategic intention to cloudsource. This may be due to the lack of clarity about data management outside the premises on cloud, nuances involved in the collection of event logs or applicability of regional regulations specific to data and privacy.
This survey brings out a need for the Organizations to establish a security organization, streamline governance and operations processes, strategically categorize the operations that can be outsourced and focus on creating a security ecosystem to block threat actions rather than building a security ecosystem which is reactive in nature.
What is your take on the business cybersecurity scene today? Are your clients willing to host their IT security services in the cloud? Would love to hear from you.