SecurityBrief New Zealand - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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Security - It really is all or nothing if you want to know the enemy
Tue, 6th Jun 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Cybersecurity has been a hot topic of late due to the deluge of cyberattacks across the globe over the past year, including cyberattacks such as the Yahoo cyberbreach, the US$81 million cyber heist in Bangalore and the Dyn major DDoS (denial-of-service) attack.

These attacks, which occurred against organisations that operate across a spectrum of industries, highlight that cyberattacks can impact any business at any time. As more industries embrace digital transformation and become increasingly connected, being cybersecure is more essential than ever. Vulnerabilities due to the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the adoption of technologies like cloud and mobility have added further complexity to the cybersecurity landscape.

Today, cybercriminals are executing sophisticated attacks and breaches that are more difficult than ever to predict and prevent. However, with the right solutions and rules in place, businesses can detect criminal behaviour faster, and react swiftly to minimise damage. Organisations need comprehensive security solutions that protect their data, and that of their customers, now and into the future. According to Gartner, enterprises are transforming their security spending strategy this year.

Organisations are moving away from prevention-only approaches to focus more on detection and response. Worldwide spending on information security is expected to reach $90 billion in 2017, an increase of 7.6 percent over 2016, and to top $113 billion by 2020. Spending on enhancing detection and response capabilities is expected to be a key priority for security buyers through 2020. Gartner also predicts that IT spending in the banking and securities industry will reach US$19.1 billion in 2017 in the mature APAC region.

Application and data security for the modern world

With industries moving into the digital space, it is important to get a firm grip on modern technologies and understand the risks they can pose. It is also important to be aware of the applications in production and the security risks they create.

Today, many say we are in the “app economy,” with organisations developing and implementing new apps at blistering speeds to stay ahead of competitors and access new revenue streams. However, as more apps are developed, security teams can become overwhelmed by the constantly evolving threats they must address and security issues can start to fall through the cracks. Vulnerabilities introduced during development provide hackers an opportunity to gain unrestricted access to confidential company or private customer data should they be successful in their attacks which could cause:

  • Loss of brand reputation 
  • Loss of consumer confidence
  • Disruption of business operations
  • Supply chain interruption
  • Threat of legal action or regulatory censure 

The use of dynamic and static code analytics during the security development lifecycle (SDL) aids in avoiding such situations as it identifies, prioritises and delegates code remediation back to the development team so that these threats can be dealt with.

BYOD and access management creating new challenges

Each year employees are increasing the number of devices they use, including laptops, desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.

Each of these mobile devices brings with it a new set of risks that need to be addressed. As each device represents an entry point for a potential security breach, securing these endpoints within the network is a key priority. A broad array of solutions, from end point through to robust threat detection and prevention, for networking application and data security, can help organisations mitigate these risks.

One such solution is Identity Access Management (IAM). IAM addresses a challenge many end-customers face: controlling access to mobile devices and the applications that run on them. It is a complicated process and creates a manpower crunch when it comes to managing data access and users on an ad-hoc basis.

This challenge can be addressed through implementation of authorisation rules, which improve efficiencies by enabling single sign-on, self-service and automated provisioning. Reduce security and compliance risks with end-to-end infrastructure solutions Today, businesses are realising they don't need to be everything to everyone. They are evolving their models to focus on their areas of specialisation and leveraging partnerships to create end-to-end solutions faster and at a lower cost.

Once such area is identifying and assessing security gaps which can become a herculean challenge when driving end-to-end security. Deploying an anti-virus product, intrusion prevention device or an enterprise firewall as your only line of defence is no longer enough in with cyberthreats as varied and sophisticated as they are today. Organisations need to be proactive in identifying the gaps that exists in their network as these gaps pose very real and substantial risks.

While it may seem like a tall order, trusted IT security and compliance solutions can secure data from mobile to cloud, on top of devices and endpoints within the organisation.

Security only works if it is designed as part of the core pillar of the enterprise environment because hackers are persistent. Hackers maliciously search for the smallest crack in network security and exploit that vulnerability. Having real-time reports allow the security team to orchestrate maintenance and activate response plans to deal with threats before they become crises.

Being proactive and dealing with threats is essential in this age as businesses today face constantly evolving security risks that require never-ending vigilance. Value added distributors, like Technology Solutions, enable partners to add Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technology to their security solutions to deliver real-time control monitoring, compliance reporting and notifications to ensure the organisation stays ahead of threats.

SIEM tools filter through billions of data points throughout systems to find and report high-priority risk incidents and scenarios. With near real-time reporting, businesses can gain full visibility into networks, including user activity, and can prioritise and analyse their vulnerability based on advanced threat intelligence software.

This unified process saves time and resources by automating the manual process of sorting and prioritising risks. A SIEM solution allows an organisation to easily analyse and intelligently act on the extensive amount of data travelling through its network.

Prioritising security when deploying new technologies, reviewing existing security infrastructure on a regular basis, and working with partners who can help monitor infrastructure for threats are some of the proactive actions businesses can take to protect their data. Organisations can work with partners that offer multi-vendor security solutions and services that go beyond endpoint security, to detection and prevention capabilities, while offering education and certification as well.

Security is aptly described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” In the never-ending pursuit of security, it really is all or nothing!