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Red Herring? IT leaders overlook new threats, despite major costs

security hardware chipA new generation of unidentified security threats stemming from megatrends and technologies like BYOD, followed by mobility, cloud computing, and Internet usage, as well as internal actions both accidental and malicious, introduce organisations to a multitude of new risks. As stated by a Dell global security survey, however, the majority of IT leaders around the world opine that they don’t view these threats as top security concerns and are not prioritising how to be able to find and address them across the many points of origin. In effect, only 37 percent of respondents consider unknown threats as a top security concern in the next five years.

Epidemic threats originate from all perimeters, both inside and outside of the organisation and are often hidden in poorly configured settings or permissions, and ineffective data governance, access management and usage policies. Dell’s global security survey of leading public and private sector security decision-makers gauged their awareness of, and preparedness for this new wave of threats plaguing IT security.

Some key findings read in the order as, viz:

64 percent of respondents agree that organisations will need to restructure/reorganise their IT processes, and be more collaborative with other departments to stay ahead of the next security threat.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents believe government should be involved in determining organisations’ cyber defense strategies.

Unknown threats come from every perimeter, both inside and outside of the organisation

The melodramatic spike of sorts let’s say in social engineering, malicious and/or accidental internal attacks, as well as sophisticated, advanced persistent threats means the organisation is vulnerable from all directions. All stakeholders must immediately take action to strengthen access to points inside and outside the perimeter, and help users prevent such attacks.

67 percent of survey respondents say they have increased funds spent on education and training of employees in the past 12 months; 50 percent believe security training for both new and current employees is a priority

54 percent have increased spending in monitoring services over the past year

Among the IT decision-makers surveyed, BYOD, cloud and the Internet were the top areas of concern for security threats.

BYOD ─ A sizable number of respondents highlighted mobility as the root cause of a breach, with increased mobility and user choice flooding networks with access devices that provide many paths for exposing data and applications to risk.

93 percent of organisations surveyed allow personal devices for work. 31 percent of end users access the network on personal devices

44 percent of respondents said instituting policies for BYOD security is of high importance in preventing security breaches

57 percent ranked increased use of mobile devices as a top security concern in the next five years

24 percent said misuse of mobile devices/operating system vulnerabilities is the root cause of security breaches

Cloud ─ Many organisations today make use of cloud computing, potentially introducing unknown security threats that lead to targeted attacks on organisational data and applications. Survey findings prove these stealthy threats come with high risk.

73 percent of respondents report their organisations currently use cloud

Nearly half (49 percent) ranked increased use of cloud as a top security concern in the next five years, suggesting unease for the future as only 22 percent said moving data to the cloud was a top security concern today

In organisations where security is a top priority for next year, 86 percent are using cloud

21 percent said cloud apps or service usage are the root cause of their security breaches

Internet ─ The significance of the unknown threats that result from heavy use of Internet communication and distributed networks is evidenced by the 63 percent of respondents who ranked increased reliance upon internet and browser-based applications as a top concern in the next five years

– More than one-fifth of respondents consider infection from untrusted remote access (public wifi) among the top three security concerns for their organisation

– 47 percent identified malware, viruses and intrusions often available through web apps, OS patching issues, and other application-related vulnerabilities as the root causes of breaches

– 70 percent are currently using email security to prevent outsider attacks from accessing the network via their email channel

Writing on the wall? Combat known and unknown threats

The survey revealed that 76 percent of IT leaders surveyed agree that to combat today’s threats; an organisation must protect itself both inside and outside of its perimeters. This requires not only a comprehensive set of solutions that protects from the inside out and the outside in ─ from the endpoint, to the data center to the cloud ─ but one that also connects these capabilities to provide deeper insights and stronger predictive analytics so that strategic action can be taken quickly.

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Jawed Akhtar

A Journalist by interest and a Music Enthusiast by passion. Wedded to Mother Nature, Jawed indulges his aesthetics in travelling and reading books of varied genres. Having covered News stories for top Dailies in his formative years, that is, he is game for tryst with Technology at Techmagnifier.

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