ADDRESSING THE ESCALATING
THREAT LANDSCAPE

Organisations are grappling security with a diversified threat landscape in 2019. What leadership positions can CSO’s take in developing modern security solutions?

CSOs and security professionals are facing some of their greatest challenges in 2019, as threats continue to escalate from a myriad of new threat vectors. Protecting organisations from cyber threats requires CSO to have access to a concentrated, industry-wide effort to address the threat landscape.

The 2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report showed that web-based attacks have increased by 56 per cent year-on-year, and the number of attack groups using destructive malware increased by 25 per cent. It’s not just threats to PCs, either – mobile ransomware has also leaped 33 per cent year-on-year. With the growth of IoT and edge computing, hackers have new potential entry points to the organisations. At the same time, the old techniques continue to prove effective; phishing and the social engineering of less tech-savvy employees are still a tried and tested path into the organisation.

With our increasingly connected world, hackers are now able to do some truly terrifying things. These range from being able to take control of your car on the middle of a busy road, going as far as to be able to control the steering, brakes and door locks

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, to being able to take down a nation’s entire power grid

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.

The risks facing organisations are no less frightening; an increasingly strict regulatory environment through initiatives such as the GDPR in the European Union means that the cost of breached security and, particularly, data privacy is escalating. In 2018, the average cost of a data breach per compromised record was $148

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. This translates to the average cost of $3.86 million per data breach, an increase of 6.4 per cent year-on-year.

The risk profile for technology security is increasing, and rapidly.

DIVING INTO THE THREAT LANDSCAPE

The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report shows that in just about every area, there has been a significant uptick in security threats facing anyone online:

What this diversification of threats points to is that hackers are more probing in nature – they operate under the assumption that any given enterprise has a mix of security applications and protocols that, when brought together, have blind spots and gaps.

The biggest challenge facing security professionals is in finding a security blanket for the organisation that doesn’t have holes. Many – if not most of them – see consolidation as the solution.

ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES IN TODAY’S THREAT LANDSCAPE

ESG research shows that CSOs and others at the executive layer have consolidation in security as a key priority moving forward

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. The data shows that

more than

0%

0%

0%

of C-level executives
believe that both threat detection and a timely and effecive response is compromised by there being too many independent point tools in the environment.

of security decision makers
are actively consolidating or considering consolidation of the cyber security vendors they have in their environment.

of enterprises
have a substantial shortage of cyber security staff and skills. Lack of skills on staff is a key challenge that enterprises are facing in realising their consolidation plans.

0%

0%

0%

80%

More than 80 per cent of C-level executives believe that both threat detection and a timely and effecive response is compromised by there being too many independent point tools in the environment.

of security decision makers
are therefore actively consolidating or considering to consolidate the cyber security vendors they have in their environment.

53%

One challenge that enterprises are facing in realising their consolidation plans is a lack of skills on staff – 53 per cent of enterprises have a substantial shortage of cyber security staff and skills.

0%

0%

0%

80%

More than 80 per cent of C-level executives believe that both threat detection and a timely and effecive response is compromised by there being too many independent point tools in the environment.

91%

Almost all (91 per cent) of security decision makers are therefore actively consolidating or considering consolidation of the cyber security vendors they have in their environment.

of enterprises
have a substantial shortage of cyber security staff and skills. Lask of skills on staff is a key challenge that enterprises are facing in realising their consolidation plans.

In addition, while security is understood to be a major risk within the modern enterprise, budgets and resources are a challenge for CSOs. As the common saying within the security space goes, a security budget is money down a well… until it’s too late to realise that more should have been spent on security.

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In our conversations with customers, we also heard they faced a quandary as they further integrated cloud and mobile technologies into their operations. They wound up spending enormous amounts of time and money integrating all of their point technologies, or worse, could not integrate them at all. They needed help deriving value from their – increasingly heavy cyber security investments. Against that backdrop, we invested in a platform strategy and roadmap to deliver what would be known as Integrated Cyber Defense.

Symantec EVP and GM of Enterprise Products, Art Gilliland

Meeting these challenges and the shifting priorities of CSOs has led Symantec to develop its Integrated Cyber Defense (ICD) platform. ICD represents an unprecedented alliance between organisations involved in the security space, with over 120 companies, including AWS, Box, IBM Security, Microsoft, Oracle, ServiceNow and Splunk all building or delivering products and services that integrate with the ICD platform. This was possible because Symantec opened its APIs, and designed new interfaces, if they didn’t exist, to level the security environment for partner organisations.

What this means is that organisations can safely bring their security practices together under one umbrella to an open ecosystem that combines threat intelligence, AI & Machine Learning, Automation and APIs in a comprehensive manner. Through ICD, CSOs can manage their organisation’s Endpoint Security, Web & Network Security, Email Security and Cloud App Security through the one solution.

Furthermore, the ICD platform enables a host of advanced services to help enterprises meet additional security challenges. Information Protection, Threat Protection, Identity Management, Compliance Enforcement and Third-Party Applications Security provide CSOs best practice solutions to meet all of the broadening threat landscape that the 2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report highlighted as the key challenges facing organisations.

ACHIEVING THE NEXT STAGE IN SECURITY:
ZERO TRUST ARCHITECTURES

Analyst firm, Forrester, coined a term for the changing way in which organisations need to consider security: “Zero Trust”

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. Where with traditional perimeter-based security solutions, a CSO would set up high walls around a network to protect it from without, a Zero Trust environment is one that operates on the philosophy that threats come from everywhere – both without and within.

In practical terms, what this means is that the CSO will shift the organisation’s environment from one where everything is inherently trusted, to one where everything is inherently not trusted. This shapes the network into an environment of small segments, with each segment only accessible by the specific people who need it to do their job – a whitelisting process, in other words. That way, if something goes wrong and one segment is compromised, the rest of the environment is still completely secure.

Symantec’s ICD platform has been named as a leader in the Zero Trust Extended Ecosystem Wave

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.

The breadth and depth of the ecosystem behind the ICD platform means that robust security can be wrapped around each segment of the Zero Trust-covered network, and CSOs can apply specific security solutions to each segment, based on the nature of the data and technology held within that segment, as well as the people that are given access to each segment.

FINDING THE RIGHT SECURITY SOLUTION
FOR THE MODERN ERA

The diversified security environment within enterprises, and the point solution approach to security that has traditionally served the security industry well, are no longer sustainable in the eyes of many CSOs and enterprise leaders. As the use of technology continues to broaden, the broadening range of security solutions has left many organisations in a state of unresponsive confusion, and the cost of a failure in security is now a major part of an enterprise’s risk profile.

CSOs need to take a fundamentally different approach to security. The Zero Trust philosophy is, in many ways, an inversion of the traditional approach to security, and as such, traditional security solutions will prove inadequate in meeting the technological challenges required for Zero Trust.

It’s for these reasons that Symantec developed the ICD platform. The way forward is for the security industry to come together and adopt a platform approach to security, to help enterprises consolidate their security practices, and deploy solutions that, across the new threat landscape, enable a cohesive approach to security.

The old way of fighting cyber-attacks using fragmented tools no longer works. Integrated platforms are the future.

Find out more about Symantec's Approach To Integrated Cyber Defense here