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Turning the Tables on Cyber Threats

  • September 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 8 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

The bad guys are getting better quicker than the good guys are improving, despite the good guys’ proclivity to spend to keep the bad guys out. This situation prompts Stratecast to question whether security expenditures are being directed optimally. In other words, is spending rational? If not, is there a lack of more effective security solutions? Or, if available, are they not being purchased and used at a level to have a material impact? Finally, if insufficient purchases and use of more effective security solutions is the culprit, what are the restraints and how can they be reduced? With the focus on these questions, we examine a pair of offerings from RSA: Web Threat Detection (WTD) and Enterprise Compromise Assessment Tool (ECAT).

Introduction
In the constant struggle by public and private organizations to defend against cyber threats, the attackers are winning. Evidence of this winning abounds. Instances of data breaches, privacy violations, and network intrusions are routinely chronicled in the public press. In an effort to stem the tide, spending on security solutions of various types continues to increase year-over-year.2 Also, the bi-annual surveys of information security professionals sponsored by (ISC)2 and conducted by Frost & Sullivan show a similar and recurring upward trend in security spending.3 Whether that spending is on personnel, training, hardware and software solutions, outsourcing, or a combination of all of these, the majority of survey respondents state that an increase in security spending is inescapable.

In this battle of good versus bad, the good guys are losing. To a degree, this is to be expected. The digitized world is constantly expanding in all conceivable measurements: bandwidth, bits exchanged, files created, active endpoint devices, and data center environments. The bad guys know full well that in this expanding, as well as dynamic, digital world, defenses are only as good as the weakest links in the chain. According to Verizon in its annual data breach investigation reports, finding the weak links, and even the absence of a chain, and then mounting an exploit is the stock and trade of the perpetrators—and they are very adept.4 Also, the same types of successful exploits are used year-over-year; some with little modification from the past and others at a new tier of sophistication. Casting a more dire perspective, the gap between the time for a compromise to take root and then to be discovered is growing.5 In other words, the bad guys are getting better quicker than the good guys are improving, despite the good guys’ proclivity to spend to keep the bad guys out.

This situation prompts Stratecast to question whether security expenditures are being directed optimally. In other words, is spending rational—that is, driven to where the most good can be attained? If not, is there a lack of more effective security solutions? Or, if available, are they not being purchased and used at a level to have a material impact? Finally, if insufficient purchases and use of more effective security solutions is the culprit, what are the restraints and how can they be reduced? With the focus on these questions, we examine a pair of offerings from RSA: Web Threat Detection (WTD) and Enterprise Compromise Assessment Tool (ECAT).

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