Five trends that will reinvent your approach to cyber risk in 2013

internet security

This past year has been wrought with mainstream and crippling cyber attacks from large groups like Anonymous to individuals hacking code in their dorm rooms. IT departments have been given the daunting task of ensuring the success and security of business-changing IT initiatives. Unfortunately, technology professionals have discovered that existing security controls and processes are creating added complexity rather than reducing risks. Highly publicized breaches coupled with increasingly sophisticated attack vectors have raised awareness and brought IT security all the way to the board level due to the sometimes devastating business impact. It’s time to reinvent your security approach – here are our 2013 predictions.

1. Emergence of the CIRO

The Chief Information Risk Officer will be the next evolution of the CISO, who can communicate to the board in the risk language they understand, rather than security jargon. CIROs will be looking to security to reduce risk whilst enabling the organization to achieve their strategy / objectives.

2. Big data for security

We see a dramatic expansion of the attack surface, fueled by the growth in mobile and other endpoint devices. Security organizations are recognizing the need to take a big data approach to security assessment – collecting huge amounts of data, and applying new predictive analysis tools to identify risks and breach traces in real time. In 2013 and later years, this approach will become more methodological. Specifically, we anticipate collection and correlation of network topology data, firewalls capabilities, vulnerabilities, asset information, business context, and new threats. This contextual analysis will enable security analysts to focus on the high risk attack scenarios in a faster and more methodological way.

3. Next-generation vulnerability management

Today, vulnerability management is one of the security processes that organizations use to find and mitigate risks; yet, vulnerability scanning can disrupt network operations, and delivers huge numbers of found vulnerabilities without the context needed to focus mitigation activities on real priority risks. In 2013, organizations will seek out ways to correlate contextual information about network access paths and existing security controls into a next-generation vulnerability management solution that will deliver the actionable vulnerability remediation options every day that are needed to effectively prevent data breaches and cyber attacks.

4. IPS emerges as key component of risk migration strategy

After 10 years of rapid sales but slow adoption, intrusion prevention systems (IPS) will play a key role in enterprise risk mitigation strategy in 2013, as confirmed by the Skybox Security Next-Generation Firewall survey in November 2012. Whilst many organizations currently use vendor-recommended IPS settings, selectively tuning the IPS based on your specific network vulnerabilities bridges the security gap and enables organizations to reap greater benefits from next-generation firewall deployments.

5. Continuous security monitoring

The highly dynamic threat landscape requires enterprises to adopt continuous monitoring of their security risk posture rather than performing periodic security assessments. While we are already seeing this trend in vulnerability management (above), it also applies to areas such as firewall compliance, network access, and end point controls. The transition to continuous security monitoring enables the IT security organization to move from reaction to threat prevention. A high degree of automation is required, leading organizations to seek out risk management tools that can keep pace with continuous changes on a daily basis without taxing the resources of the security teams.

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