Cybercriminals are continually changing their attacks and techniques to stay ahead of security countermeasures. This continuous threat evolution has forced organizations to be consistently prepared to defend against something new at all times. Success relies on somehow anticipating the next threat to close the gap between its launch and being able to detect and stop it.
The challenge is that networks, devices, and applications being added to networks at an unprecedented rate, complicating the ability of organizations to see and manage their expanding security footprint. Likewise, the growing cybersecurity skills gap means that keeping up with advancing security challenges is stretching available IT resources to the breaking point. All but the most well-funded organizations are struggling to keep up, and even those rarely have the range of skills in-house to secure every new network system and device being added to the network.
This cybersecurity skills gap has made it difficult for organizations of any size to find enough qualified employees with the necessary background to effectively protect online assets from advanced threats—especially those being deployed in new multi-cloud and next-gen branch environments. Without such professionals in place, however, it is impossible to monitor every security incident and perform the kind of analysis necessary to determine threat trends.
A good option for many organizations is to supplement their efforts and resources with a range of security resources and specialized service partners. Here are a few ways to immediately enhance your security posture without having to move your in-house resources away from their areas of expertise.
Subscribe to threat intelligence feeds
Lots of security tools have been designed to identify new attacks, but few are as important as having access to real-time research and threat intelligence. Combining an up-to-date and extensive knowledge of the threat landscape with the ability to respond quickly at multiple levels is the foundation for providing effective security.
The challenge is knowing which threat feeds to subscribe to, which tools to deploy, and how to weave them together into an effective strategy. Actionable, up-to-the-minute threat intelligence needs to:
• Provide insight into threats anywhere in the world, collected through a global network of sensors.
• Deliver intelligence in as close to real-time as possible to defend against fast-moving threats.
• Be produced by a reputable organization with an adequate number of threat researchers, skills, and resources to provide comprehensive information.
• Identify new avenues of attack through proactive threat research.
• Be provided in a form that can be immediately consumed by security devices to see and respond to the latest threats.
• Be easily integrated with and correlated against the local threat intelligence being collected within the distributed network.
Select a security-focused partner
Professional security consultants are in a unique position to help you plan how to stay ahead of the criminal community that wants to steal, hijack, or ransom your data. They are an impartial, outside observer who may see risks and challenges that you may not realize are putting your data at risk. An effective security partner can help you with four critical areas to better implement effective security strategies.
• Technology integration. Because today’s threats are so sophisticated, organizations need to integrate their security solutions into a single, unified system. This allows you to find and respond to even the fastest and most stealthy attacks. Building an integrated framework around open APIs, a common OS, and centralized management enables security technologies to span the distributed network as a single, holistic solution. Weaving different security technologies together through a common framework allows them to effectively share and correlate threat intelligence and collaborate to adapt and respond to threats, regardless of which network ecosystem they are impacting or which team owns and manages the assets being targeted.
• Unified protocols. In a unified security strategy, all solutions must operate using the same set of policies, protocols, and threat intelligence. This requires a single-pane-of-glass approach to management and orchestration. This ensures that different security tools deployed across distributed infrastructures are all on the same page when it comes to looking for, discovering, and responding to new threats.
• Consistent application of services. Technical security services such as sandboxing, intrusion prevention, virus-outbreak prevention, and application controls need to span your entire distributed network. These solutions can then function as part of a universal strategy to better identify, correlate, and respond to threats, regardless of where a threat is detected, or where security resources are located.
• Process automation. As the time between a breach and a compromise continues to shorten, delays due to human decision-making can no longer be tolerated. To address this growing challenge, you need to implement decision-making and analysis engines that take humans out of the loop. Leveraging AI engines, machine learning, and automation to perform the vast majority of security decisions closes the gap on threat impact, while enabling you to reallocate human resources to focus on the really hard decisions where human cognition and intervention are required.
Allocate IT budget to Security as a Service
Outsourcing security has been gaining popularity as a way to ensure defense-in-depth across distributed network environments—in spite of the security skills shortage and growing cyber threat challenge. One survey predicts that security services will account for over half of IT security spending in the coming year.
Security services ensure that organizations of all sizes can consistently receive the security support they need across their entire security lifecycle, including planning, designing, implementing, integrating, managing, operating, and optimizing the security infrastructure—all provided by experienced security professionals with broad visibility into global threat trends and strategies. This ensures that you are expanding your defenses effectively while continually fortifying and refining your security strategy with enhanced service solutions.
Such in-depth security support, combined with real-time threat intelligence and other essential services, ensures and enables the fast response times that are now necessary to keep pace with today’s cyber attacks.