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Study: Most Security Pros Unsure Whether They Could Handle A Breach

Security pros not confident in their ability to quickly find the source of a breach and remediate it, study says

Most security professionals are not confident in their ability to quickly detect and find the source of a breach, and many fear they will fumble their incidence response efforts, according to a study published Wednesday.

A survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by security company AccessData reports that many security pros are worried that they would not know the root cause of a breach, or that they would be able to prioritize their responses.

"When a CEO and board of directors asks a security team for a briefing immediately following an incident, 65 percent of respondents believe that the briefing would be purposefully modified, filtered or watered down" because of a lack of information, the study says.

"Additionally, 78 percent of respondents believe most CISOs would make a 'best effort guess' based on limited information, and they would also take action prematurely and report that the problem had been resolved without this actually being the case."

"One of the things I found interesting was that so many of the respondents felt they would have to 'fudge' their reports to the CEO," says Larry Ponemon, founder and director of the Ponemon Institute. "They're not confident at all in their data."

Eighty-six percent of respondents say detection of a cyberattack takes too long in their organizations, according to the report. Eighty-five percent say they are unable to properly prioritize alerts and incidents as they occur. Seventy-four percent say there is poor or no integration between their security point products, which makes it hard for them to respond effectively to new incidents.

"They're getting alerts from their SIEM [security incident and event management] tools, from FireEye [malware analysis tools], and from Palo Alto Networks [next-generation firewalls], and they have no way to figure out which alerts to prioritize and which ones they should really care about," says Craig Carpenter, chief cybersecurity strategist at AccessData.

Forty percent of respondents say none of their security products allows the import of threat intelligence data from other sources, the study says. Fifty-four percent say they are not able to or unsure of how to locate sensitive data, such as trade secrets and personally identifiable information (PII), on mobile devices.

"What this data tells us is that security pros are absolutely missing things when they're analyzing threats and doing incident response," says Carpenter. "They can't get the evidence they need to identify the source of the attack."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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douglasmow
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douglasmow,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 5:32:42 PM
re: Study: Most Security Pros Unsure Whether They Could Handle A Breach
This data cannot be creating a lot of confidence in the executive management ranks and boards of their companies. But. these guys do not have an easy job. This is a very complex environment and the hackers are smart and resourceful. On top of that, the speed, the volume and the intensity of attacks is continually escalating.

One approach this suggests is a big data and analytics solution that can bring together data from different sources (DLP, SIEM, IDS, IAM, others) to understand trends and risks. By reviewing the data on a continuous basis, companies can take preventative measures and reduce the threat surface.

Courion did a study last year (http://www.courion.com/company... and found that only 12% of respondents reviewed access rights more frequently than monthly. It also found that 53% of respondents do not have visibility into potential access risk. More frequent monitoring of an organization's access can help reduce risk.
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