How Cybersecurity is Changing in 2017
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“Cybersecurity” has become an increasingly vague and generalized term. The concept of cybersecurity encompasses every angle from which infiltrators and others with malicious intentions can make their mark. From cyber espionage and hacking electronic medical records to keylogging and trojan viruses, the term cybersecurity does not adequately capture the extent to which threats have evolved. But there is some good news: 2017 has seen new technologies prove to be effective solutions. Most important, we're seeing new philosophies which will eventually translate into technologies to combat a constantly rising threat.
Companies are Changing Course
The philosophical shift within the cybersecurity world has given way to new technologies while changing the way that industry experts operate. While the number of ways in which threats can harm you and your business are infinite, the resources to fight back are finite. That said, some groups have been given recognition for their innovative perspectives that have not been widely adopted-- at least not yet.
A new Forrester report from top cybersecurity analysts reported that companies such as Siemplify, Hexadite, and Cybersponse are promoting industry shifting philosophies. They operate on this sort of premise: with an increased frequency of attacks and their intricacy, it is nearly impossible to gauge the actual threat being posed by each alert that comes through your system. You simply do not have the resources, or as mentioned earlier, the workforce, to adequately scrub through each alert coming across your desk. It takes a new kind of outlook to be able to tackle the issue at hand, and the answer is not so black and white. The only good solution is one that takes all the good from each cybersecurity defense tactic and combining it into one, or better known as orchestration.
Security orchestration, though new, is laced with nuances from many different cybersecurity defense strategies. It goes something like this: within every fixed solution is at least some truth, so why not extract bits of truth and effectiveness from all kinds of solutions and combine it into one multifaceted system of defense. One writer likened security orchestration to an actual orchestra, where it takes integral parts many instruments in order to create one sound. There is no doubt that security orchestration will be the tune in the cybersecurity world in the latter half of this year.
It’s Not a Matter of ‘If’, but ‘When’
Cybersecurity threats are more frequent and more advanced than ever. It is not a question of whether an attack is going to happen, but when it will. With that in mind, the priority is threat detection and incident response.
In short, incident response has been defined as an “organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or attack (also known as an incident.)” The goal is “to handle the situation in a way that limits damage and reduces recovery time and costs.” In other words, incident response is predicated on the idea that attacks will inevitably happen. This is the harsh reality of today’s climate in cybersecurity. But, pessimism aside, you will minimize damage on the backside by not assuming that putting all your efforts into prevention will suffice.
Complete and Total Desperation in the Workforce
Unfortunately, an increase in the number of attacks is being compounded by a shortage in the cybersecurity workforce. Indeed, the industry is projected to be understaffed by nearly two million employees within the next five years. Considering the increase of threat sophistication and frequency, this spells a real danger for IT departments worldwide. Moreover, it gives those with malicious intentions that much more confidence going forward.
In fact, the problem is considered so severe that, in 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created a special body to promote cyber security work: the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS.) The DHS also put forward a seven-step framework as a kind of blueprint for cybersecurity analysts to “categorize, organize, and describe cybersecurity work into Specialty Areas, tasks, and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).” All that considered, it is no wonder that, in 2014, the average annual income of cybersecurity specialists was up to $91,600. And organizations and educational institutions are said to be actively “involved in providing training, certifications and full undergraduate and graduate degree programs to individuals interested in the field of cybersecurity.”
Overall, cybersecurity companies have taken today’s grim realities into account, and have responded accordingly. The truth of the matter is that the cybersecurity workforce is understaffed while the threat frequency is multiplying at an unprecedented rate. Out of sheer necessity, companies are developing new technologies at a rapid pace. While we are nearly halfway finished with 2017, we have already seen a drastic overhaul in the general perception regarding cybersecurity’s importance. Only time will tell what the second half of the year has in store.