Cybercrime is here to stay, and our only true defenses include modern, data-driven approaches.
Vulnerable enterprise networks are appealing targets for would-be digital vandals, thieves, and ransomware masterminds. It’s no surprise that organizations are pouring resources into their security approaches, from investments into hardware and software and significant increases in Cybersecurity professional hiring. In fact, industry watchers expect organizations globally to contribute to $1.75 trillion in cumulative spending on Cybersecurity between 2021 and 2025.
Yet, countless organizations remain vulnerable to data and financial losses caused by ransomware and other zero day attacks; worse still, many find that the expensive solutions they’ve purchased come with new, unexpected resource costs.
A recent FastCompany article, “Why data-driven defense is key in Cybersecurity,” explores why it is that so many businesses are investing in what turn out to be inefficient security postures. The article cites five potential causes for the disparity:
1. An overwhelming number of vulnerabilities and alerts
New vulnerabilities are constantly being uncovered — some 10,000 new software vulnerabilities are discovered each year, according to NIST’s National Vulnerability Database. While SIEM and other platform-based tools can identify many patterns and risk related to emerging vulnerabilities, SOCs are faced with an incredible burden when it comes to efficiently addressing an ever-growing list of alerts. False positives can account for up to 75% of the alerts SOC teams have to analyze, a factor that contributes to increased stress and potential human error. In fact, three in four analysts worry about missing incidents, and one in four said they worry “a lot” about overlooking incidents in response to a recent IDC survey.
2. A lack of focus on root cause analysis
As FastCompany reports, repeat attacks are alarmingly common — 80% of respondents to a recent large survey of Cybersecurity professionals conducted by Cybereason reported they have encountered repeat ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals return again and again to attack vulnerable networks because all too often, companies fail to rectify the root causes of initial attacks. IBM’s 2020 “Cost of a Data Breach” report identifies several oft-overlooked root causes:
- Social engineering
- Software vulnerabilities
- Human error
- Malicious insiders
- Leaked credentials
- Compromised supply chains
While no one software solution can mitigate every root cause, organizations often make expensive investments into platforms that can’t identify even a few of these issues.
3. Prioritization issues
Overworked Cybersecurity professionals are often split between performing security duties and increasingly, IT tasks unrelated to Cybersecurity. This issue became increasingly prominent during the pandemic, when more than half of surveyed security professionals said they had shifted some of their focus to IT duties. In the meantime, 91% of surveyed IT workers said they felt pressured to compromise security in order to manage other IT tasks.
Today’s IT teams have also had to contend with an increased focus on compliance requirements, which tend to center on regulatory requirements that are not necessarily related to true Cybersecurity needs. As FastCompany notes, many common compliance controls overlook the overwhelmingly key factor impacting breaches: human error.
4. Communication issues
While much of the press related to the Cybersecurity professional gap focuses on technical skills, soft skills like communications and leadership are significantly impacting enterprise security postures, as evidenced by a 2020 survey. In other words, even teams that have the ability, technically, to identify threats, may lack the means to communicate them effectively across their companies.
5. Humans are, well, human
All humans hold various biases that come into play when making decisions. Cybersecurity pros, FastCompany notes, are sometimes impacted by factors like vendor and media-driven narratives around Cybersecurity, for example. Human bias can impact tasks like prioritizing threats and over time, reduce confidence in identifying Cybersecurity gaps. Solutions that place too much emphasis on the human decision-making element are vulnerable to suffering the effects of natural human bias.
FastCompany notes that businesses can overcome these five critical factors impacting Cybersecurity efficacy by taking a more data-driven approach where businesses “enable the security function to make decisions based on factual data.” The article recommends three overarching approaches:
- Focus on initial root causes (remember: phishing is the most common attack vector and the root of most ransomware attacks).
- Focus on top exploit methods.
- Focus on local threat intelligence (not all threats are equal; concentrate on threats most likely to impact a given local network).
MixMode is the data-driven solution that works
MixMode removes the burden of manual prioritization and nearly eliminates false positives. The platform can autonomously evaluate which events should be investigated manually by noting that certain events are aggregates of indicators and should be solved first. Typically, the platform has shown to decrease false positive alerts by up to 95% for most enterprises. It’s a double-win. Not only can security teams significantly reduce a manual, demoralizing Cybersecurity task, but they can also use that found time to manage true threats versus wasting time on threat-hunting.
Unlike other security solutions, MixMode does not rely on legacy data to operate and requires no training data. Instead, the platform establishes a baseline of expected normal behavior within a few days and then adjusts in real-time to actual network conditions. The entire model is fundamentally more secure and cost-effective than most platforms.
With MixMode, enterprises can eliminate the data overload problems plaguing Cybersecurity by reducing SOC reliance on manual processes prone to experiencing human error. Security teams have the ability to access, search, and utilize all of their data. This allows security teams to more efficiently deploy resources across the organization and obtain actionable intelligence on the security data they care about most.