ZDNet: IT Security and Risk Management: An overview

InsightaaS: As we reach the one-year anniversary of the Snowden affair, many websites are offering a combination of reviews of the past 12 months and guidance for security professionals. ZDNet, one of the world’s best sources of IT information, has a number of posts on security related topics, including “IT Security and Risk Management: An overview.” It is a long but informative piece that begins by outlining the danger of advanced persistent threats, and then looks at security research, with extensive coverage of a Ponemon survey (note – although there is no mention of this in the piece, some of the Ponemon figures should be taken as indicative rather than demonstrative due to small sample sizes) and summaries drawn from studies by Symantec, Trustwave and PWC/BIS.

The second half of the piece starts with a section entitled “Beyond traditional cyberdefences” that covers techniques like automatic malware analysis and other next-generation threat protection solutions that can “build up a complete picture of an advanced persistent attack and defeat it.” Using a Gartner model, author Charles McLellan identifies five approaches to advanced threat defense, and provides links to leading suppliers in each category. In the “Outlook” section, McLellan uses research from E&Y to highlight current lack of confidence in user ability to safeguard important technologies, especially those that are not yet “current” – those that are seen as “around the cornder” or “on the horizon.” He concludes by stating that “Current working practices and the evolving digital landscape make it impossible for organisations to adopt a fortress mentality…[and] developments such as the internet of things will vastly expand the global attack surface. The cybersecurity arms race continues, and the stakes are getting higher.”  

The world is becoming ever more digital. In developed countries, it’s common for people to use multiple digital devices and live a near-permanently internet-connected life – at home, at work and in transit. Developing nations are getting online fast too, and will naturally seek to reap the same benefits of digital connectivity. At the same time, the environment we all inhabit is becoming increasingly digital, with sensors attached to all manner of objects forming the Internet of Things. All this is generally seen as A Good Thing.

But it’s not only benefits that flow from high levels of connectivity. Cybercrime, cyberwar and ‘hacktivism’ are all nefarious digital activities – respectively designed to steal assets, confound an enemy state or make a political point – that form the inevitable ‘dark side’ to the digital life. If we’re to continue to reap the benefits of internet connectivity, then security vendors and professionals must keep up to speed in the arms race with the bad guys.

In the past, enterprise security was all about circling the wagons and making sure you only had friendly folks on the inside: firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and secure email/web gateways looked after the perimeter, with antivirus software and other endpoint protection solutions providing additional security. Then the digital world changed with the widespread use of mobile devices (many brought into work as part of BYOD programmes), social networks and public cloud services. Now the (increasingly sophisticated) cybercriminals had myriad new ways of gaining access to organisations’ more extended digital assets…

Read the entire post: http://www.zdnet.com/it-security-and-risk-management-an-overview-7000022659/


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