Friday, 31 March 2017

New research reveals major disconnect between beliefs and actions regarding IoT & cloud security

A recent survey has found that one third of respondents describe the state of security monitoring within their organisation as “complex and chaotic”. AlienVault®, the leading provider of Unified Security Management™ (USM™) and crowdsourced threat intelligence, has released results of a survey showing that cloud security remains a thorn in the side of security professionals, with many still struggling to monitor this environment effectively.

Conducted at RSA 2017, 974 conference participants weighed in on cloud security and IoT monitoring to provide an inside look at the challenges and concerns plaguing companies today, along with the opportunities and benefits associated with each technology.

Main Survey Findings:

  • AlienVault RSA survey finds that one third of respondents describe the state of security monitoring within their organisation as “complex and chaotic”
  • 39 percent of respondents use more than 10 different cloud services within their organisation, and an additional 21 percent don’t know how many cloud applications are being used
  • Lack of visibility into the cloud is a significant concern for 42 percent, yet 47 percent would rather monitor a cloud environment than an on-premises one
  • 62 percent indicate they are worried about IoT devices in their environment, yet 45 percent believe IoT benefits outweigh the risks

“The driving force behind cloud and IoT is the availability and analysis of information, but they must be managed and monitored in the right way. If data is misused, or inadequately protected, the consequences can be severe,” said Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault. “According to the survey findings, many companies are using these impacting technologies to reap the technological and business benefits they provide, but they are doing so without proper monitoring – leaving their company at greater risk of attack.”

When it comes to monitoring security threats in the cloud, an alarming number of respondents reported being left in the dark when decisions are made. According to the survey, 39 percent of respondents are using more than 10 different cloud services within their organisation, and 21 percent don’t know how many cloud applications are being used. In addition, 40 percent state that their IT team is not always consulted before a cloud platform is deployed, meaning that they are unable to offer guidance and advice, or do due diligence on a platform or service.

The survey also asked participants what concerned them most about cloud security. While malware was rated as the highest concern, with 47 percent of respondents worrying about it, some of the other responses shed light on why so many security professionals view their environments as complex and chaotic. 42 percent of respondents are concerned about a lack of visibility in the cloud, and 21 percent are worried about the cloud-based services they use producing “too many logs.” This finding also points to the problems associated with auditing cloud environments in the event of an incident.

“Most organisations are drowning in ineffective preventative measures and draining resources with investments in expensive, disjointed solutions. This unfortunate combination is likely a tremendous factor in producing the chaos, complexity and confusion experienced by so many companies,” continued Malik. “It’s time for organisations to focus on what they do have control over – threat detection and incident response – and implement a unified solution that can monitor on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments. Simplifying security in this way enables companies to immediately identify and respond to threats, and in today’s cybersecurity landscape, this is the best strategy to mitigate risk.”

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