Risk

9/12/2018
02:30 PM
Mike Convertino
Mike Convertino
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

4 Trends Giving CISOs Sleepless Nights

IoT attacks, budget shortfalls, and the skills gap are among the problems keeping security pros up at night.

The world of cybersecurity gets more intriguing every year. In 2017, security professionals saw their share of attacks, but the increasing sophistication of the skirmishes is notable — with almost machine-like weaponization of code on the attackers' side and an increasing alliance with the forces of machine learning and artificial intelligence on the defenders' side.

As we continue through 2018, figures remain similar to last year's. While the security industry struggles to fill more than a million jobs, attackers — including sophisticated criminal organizations and nation-states — have more than enough talent to continue their efforts.

We're seeing changes in the nature of cyberattacks arising from the continuing "digital transformation" going on in all markets. As companies make their devices intelligent, and as more consumers welcome intelligent devices and digital assistants into their homes, attack vectors are multiplying and bad actors are finding new ways to exploit those platforms.

Here are some of the trends affecting security pros in 2018:

1. Attacks involving IoT are increasing, resulting in a call for increased IT security budgets.  
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next great frontier in the business world, and it's making its way into people's homes as well, in the form of smart thermostats, refrigerators, and even complete home control systems. IoT is a high-growth industry that is looking to cross the $1 trillion mark sooner than later.

For hackers, all those connected "things" represent a vast source of new code to exploit. IoT devices are a tantalizing backdoor to gain entry and reach more powerful systems with critical information. For example, earlier this year Kaspersky Lab released results from a study exposing the risk when Bluetooth devices don't require basic security protocols such as authentication and authorization of encrypted tokens and coordinates. Hackers could exploit these vulnerabilities to take the devices over, spread malware, and gain access to critical data or physical entry to homes and buildings — and could even do so wirelessly.

At a fundamental level, consumers and companies are at risk of having financial information stolen. Attacks on critical infrastructure such as transit centers or dams can be even more costly or even life-threatening.

This makes securing an IT environment more complicated as companies must consider not just the connected devices and products themselves, but sensors, firmware, applications, application programming interfaces (APIs), networks, and databases. With that in mind, device-makers need to ensure their engineers and developers understand the various security vulnerabilities in the IoT devices they’re putting on the market. This challenge is a central focus for security orgs in the coming months — and until the industry really gets a handle on this, there will be breaches.

2. The security skill-set gap continues to widen due to talent scarcity, leading more companies to adopt AI and machine learning technology to detect and manage attacks.
Like everyone else in IT, security organizations have to search for efficiencies. Throughout 2018, we're continuing to expect much of those efforts to come from either outsourced services or machines.

As the industry scrambles to solve the talent shortage, one strategy is to automate as much as possible. In doing so, companies would be wise to pay attention to the respective strengths of humans (creativity) and machines (consistency), and build both into their strategies.

Through 2018 and beyond, good security practices will seek to automate functions that are based purely on large sets of data, and bring in more people with diverse opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds to perform the lateral, out-of-the-box thinking that's necessary to combat today's sophisticated adversaries.  

3. Security orgs are prioritizing risk-reducing solutions and consumption-based services in an attempt to relieve sagging budgets.
It's not just talent that the security industry is struggling to find enough of, it's also dollars. In response, CISOs are having to get inventive. One of the top emerging trends we're seeing in 2018 is the continued maturation of security-as-a-service models. It's not just web application firewall and DDoS mitigation, but also ID- and access-as-a-service, compliance-as-a-service, encryption, and more.

These tactics provide some cost predictability and make it easy to determine total cost of ownership. But there's a limit to how much can be done in this manner, and companies will always need to consider the risks unique to their industry and way of operating.

In addition, we're seeing the security industry taking on other efficiency-improving efforts, such as the adoption of modern infrastructure as code or "NoOps" capabilities normally found in advanced cloud-based development environments. This has become possible because of the availability of APIs in standard security software and gear, and the rise of security automation tools, including Phantom and Demisto. When four lines of code can replace 40 manual entries in a management user interface, the opportunity and the appeal are hard to ignore.

4. More enterprises are relying on CISOs to devise strategies and set provisions for security requirements that abide by GDPR standards.
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently kicked into gear, and noncompliance carries the potential for significant penalties. Globally, organizations have been actively assessing the impact of GDPR on their business and data privacy and management operations. Any organization doing business in the EU or processing personally identifiable information from EU residents has needed to deploy additional processes, policies, and technologies to avoid significant fines.

CISOs are accountable for data security and must provide confidence to executives, auditors, and regulators that personal information is secure. This means maintaining (or achieving) full visibility into where data resides and determining if proper controls are in place.

Longer term, expect similar regulations to arise in other regions as GDPR becomes a prototype for a new class of privacy regulations worldwide.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec. 3-6, 2018, with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions, and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Mike Convertino has nearly 30 years of experience in providing enterprise-level information security, cloud-grade information systems solutions, and advanced cyber capability development. His professional experience spans security leadership and product development at a wide ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Veterans Find New Roles in Enterprise Cybersecurity
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  11/12/2018
Understanding Evil Twin AP Attacks and How to Prevent Them
Ryan Orsi, Director of Product Management for Wi-Fi at WatchGuard Technologies,  11/14/2018
7 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Increase Your Cybersecurity Knowledge
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
Online Malware and Threats: A Profile of Today's Security Posture
This report offers insight on how security professionals plan to invest in cybersecurity, and how they are prioritizing their resources. Find out what your peers have planned today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-18519
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-19
BestXsoftware Best Free Keylogger 5.2.9 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse "%PROGRAMFILES%\BFK 5.2.9\syscrb.exe" file because of insecure permissions for the BUILTIN\Users group.
CVE-2018-19355
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-19
modules/orderfiles/ajax/upload.php in the Customer Files Upload addon 2018-08-01 for PrestaShop (1.5 through 1.7) allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a php file via modules/orderfiles/upload.php with auptype equal to product (for upload destinations under modules/productfi...
CVE-2008-7320
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-18
** DISPUTED ** GNOME Seahorse through 3.30 allows physically proximate attackers to read plaintext passwords by using the quickAllow dialog at an unattended workstation, if the keyring is unlocked. NOTE: this is disputed by a software maintainer because the behavior represents a design decision.
CVE-2018-19358
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-18
GNOME Keyring through 3.28.2 allows local users to retrieve login credentials via a Secret Service API call and the D-Bus interface if the keyring is unlocked, a similar issue to CVE-2008-7320. One perspective is that this occurs because available D-Bus protection mechanisms (involving the busconfig...
CVE-2018-19351
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-18
Jupyter Notebook before 5.7.1 allows XSS via an untrusted notebook because nbconvert responses are considered to have the same origin as the notebook server. In other words, nbconvert endpoints can execute JavaScript with access to the server API. In notebook/nbconvert/handlers.py, NbconvertFileHand...