Enterprises in denial regarding network security
Posted on 06 August 2013.
Many enterprises possess an unrealistic confidence surrounding the security of their networks. According to a Lancope survey, more than 65 percent of IT/security professionals did not think, or were unsure whether, they had experienced any security incidents within the last 12-18 months.

According to Lancope’s director of security research, Tom Cross, this scenario is not likely. “Any system you connect to the Internet is going to be targeted by attackers very quickly thereafter,” he said. “I would assert that if you’re unsure whether or not your organization has had a security incident, the chances are very high that the answer is yes.”

The survey also revealed that 38 percent believe recent security incidents had no impact on their organization. According to Cross, “even the most basic malware infection has some financial cost to the organization, even if it’s just the cost to clean infected machines. Not to mention the additional serious consequences that can result from a breach, including data loss, customer distrust, regulatory fines and many others.”

Nearly 18 percent of respondents did admit to recently suffering from malware, and 16 percent said they had been the victim of DDoS attacks. It is possible that many of these organizations have also suffered from other, more stealthy attacks and are just not aware.

Insider threats, for example, can be difficult to detect because attackers have authorized access to the data they are looking to steal. Advanced, external attackers can also fly under the radar by constructing attacks that are likely to evade commonplace network security solutions.

Organizations were more realistic when evaluating the potential risk of insider threats to their infrastructure, with 32 percent naming it as one of the greatest risks. However, this concern was far overshadowed by fears associated with BYOD and mobile devices, coming in at over 50 percent.

Because traditional security strategies cannot be easily applied to employee-owned assets, enterprise security professionals suffer from a lack of network visibility when it comes to mobile devices. This blind spot is obvious; but what about the blind spots that organizations don’t realize they have?

Areas of blind spots within the typical enterprise are many, including applications, network traffic, network devices, user activity, virtualized appliances and data centers, to name a few. Lancope was encouraged to also see “lack of visibility” top the list of greatest risks identified by survey participants, as well as “monitoring user activity” designated as a key challenge.





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