When cyber threats outnumber the bandwidth of the workforceBy Bill Dunnion
The digital age is truly a wondrous time to be alive. The connectivity and inherent convenience that we all share is nothing short of amazing. However, what we all as individuals experience on a daily basis is nothing more than a thin facade—a veil that keeps us from experiencing the dark reality on the other side of the digital curtain.
For those of us who work in IT and Cyber Security, there is an ever-present war raging—one where the front lines of defence are pushed to their limits on a continuous basis. After all, with so much connectivity, the concepts of digital transformation continuously driving new business initiatives, and the cloud being the epicentre for all modern functionality, the gates that we all guard are always being tested.
And though this may sound alarmist, maybe even fanciful, the reality is that companies and personal IT systems are constantly under attack. It’s just the new world order that we all must live in.
In fact, the level of magnitude as it relates to the frequency and sheer number of attacks that threaten organizations daily is virtually impossible to calculate. The fact of the matter is cyber security threats are growing by the day. Attackers are constantly inventing new vectors, tools, and approaches designed to outsmart cyber security, IT professionals, and the technologies that have been designed to protect organizations as a whole.
With this frequency and volume comes a new challenge: the burden it places on IT teams, especially on their time and talent. Due to the advanced nature and diverse attack vectors of modern endpoint threats, IT teams are being forced not only to continually monitor external devices, but also to focus on visibility within their own internal IT systems and infrastructure to detect and stop potential data breaches before they happen.
However, if these processes fall on one individual, or even on multiple teams of people, the manual workload required can take the focus away from all threats. This relegates the IT team to subpar practices and to a lack of communication between teams, which leads teams to concentrate only on their own visible security warnings and to leave far too many potential threats unchallenged.
As if that weren’t enough, these situations create both monetary and bandwidth challenges for even the more advanced organizations. In short, unless these processes can be automated, the cost can easily overwhelm IT teams and cause other projects to be ignored due to time and talent constraints.
All of this leads to one road: the need for new and advanced security. When planning for new security measures and with so many new threats to worry about, the question becomes, “Where do we start?”
Though there is no one-solution-fits-all scenario, one easy place to start is with endpoints, since they are by far the most susceptible to attacks by cybercriminals. Multiple studies show that over 90% of all successful attacks target the end user, so “bubble-wrapping” the user at the keyboard is a definite priority. The difficulty, however, becomes choosing the right set of tools that can address the greatest number of needs.
In short, technology and process layers must be implemented that address the entirety of the attack kill chain, anticipate threats, prevent them, identify and respond to them, and investigate them, while also remediating any security issues that are found.
The smartest approach will always be due diligence and maintaining a firm security posture—after all, creating a best defence strategy ensures everyone is at the very least paying attention. Beyond that, partner with professionals who can handle threats for you—ones that know the intimate secrets of those trying to penetrate your defences. Calling on the pros ensures that the right people are there to defend you; their insight into all things related to cyber resilience will enable you to evolve quickly to address new threats as they arise.
In short, bandwidth is tough enough for any IT team—even the best of teams occasionally struggle to meet business goals and timelines. The secret here is simply don’t let bandwidth be your Achilles heel.