Your business may never be secure enough, but can always be more secure
CompTIA, a leading IT industry membership association, has published its IT Industry Outlook 2018 report. That study cites IDC research that projects “global information technology spending will top $4.8 trillion in 2018, with the U.S. accounting for approximately $1.5 trillion of the market.”
A survey of IT professionals conducted for the 2018 New York Tech Summit found that 85 percent of respondents spend up to half their total IT budgets on security-related investments. This only makes sense. In the 2017 edition of this survey, nearly half the respondents (49 percent) cited security as their top concern.
Given those concerns and spending patterns, cyber security spending in 2018 could be as high as $.75 trillion in the U.S. and $2.4 trillion worldwide. Yet no amount of spending is guaranteed to be enough to protect your business from every threat or attack.
Cyber Security Threats Continue to Grow and Evolve
That’s because the threats to cyber security at your business are growing in number, sophistication, and impact. A May 2018 Marketwatch.com article cited research by the Identity Theft Resource Center, a U.S. non-profit. That group found the number of “significant breaches at U.S. businesses, government agencies, and other organizations topped 1,300,” compared with fewer than 200 in 2005.
Phishing emails and web sites are gaining greater personalization and persuasion features. In October 2018, APWG, the independent Anti-Phishing Working Group, reported detection of more than 230,000 unique phishing web sites during the second quarter of the year. Each of these sites can have hundreds or thousands of URLs that direct unwitting victims to them.
During that same quarter, APWG members reported more than 280,000 unique email phishing campaigns. More than one-third of those attacks (36 percent) targeted payment processors, while more than one-fifth (21 percent) were directed at software as a service (SaaS) and webmail providers. And so-called “business email compromise” or “BEC” attacks now often contain names and specific information that increase their perceived legitimacy. That information is frequently gathered from social media sites.
Meanwhile, “malware as a service” continues to grow. This threat is particularly insidious. It enables criminals with no technical skills to pay a fee to have a selected number of computers infected with ransomware or other dangerous code.
Cyber Security Threats: How Best to Respond?
Whatever the number and mix of threats your business faces, your IT and cyber security leaders, teams, solutions, and processes must be ready to face them effectively. This means you need the ability to discover vulnerabilities before they become threats, and to identify and isolate threats before they can wreak widespread damage.
Traditional, legacy cyber security measures are no longer adequate, if they ever were. Such measures tend to be reactive and remedial, in parallel with the “break/fix” approach to early attempts at ITSM. Today, both effective ITSM and effective cyber security require solutions and processes that are proactive, prescriptive, and preventive, as well as able to respond to problems after they occur.
All of this means that cyber security can no longer be viewed as something separate from ITSM or IT management in general. Every IT activity at your business now requires a security component.
Discovery cannot simply catalog devices. It must also include information about the relationships that link devices to each other, your services, and your users. Discovery and monitoring must also be constantly vigilant for unknown devices and unauthorized connection attempts.
Similarly, your IT asset management (ITAM) efforts must embrace cyber security as well. The information you collect and store about your IT assets must be accurate, comprehensive, and timely, so your security patches, software updates, and other preventive measures are implemented consistently. And every business and IT service you provide must be crafted, delivered, and managed with security as a primary concern.
Operationally, all of this is great incentive to bring IT and cyber security operations closer together, as discussed in a recent webinar co-hosted by Virima and follow-up . Technologically, you need discovery, ITAM, and ITSM solutions that capture and deliver the information you need to maximize the effectiveness of security efforts across your entire IT estate.
In reality, your business can never be too secure, and can always be made more so. With the right perspectives, processes, and technologies, however, you can make and keep your business secure enough to survive and thrive, no matter how sophisticated or numerous cyber security threats become.
Virima: Your Partner for Better IT-Security Convergence
Virima’s solutions for IT asset discovery, IT asset management (ITAM), and IT service management (ITSM) are all designed to help improve management and security of your entire IT estate. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. In addition, they’re built to be easy to use and configure, and to produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, for IT managers and business decision makers. These features can help you and your service management team work more closely and effectively with your cyber security counterparts, to maximize availability, resilience, and resistance to threats of your IT estate.