Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

3/14/2018
03:13 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

77% of Businesses Lack Proper Incident Response Plans

New research shows security leaders have false confidence in their ability to respond to security incidents.

Your incident response plan probably isn't as strong as you think it is, according to a new pool of research showing a broad gap between the perceived strength of incident response plans and their true effectiveness.

In "The Third Annual Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization," Ponemon researchers surveyed more than 2,848 IT and IT security pros from around the world. They learned businesses continue to struggle to respond to security incidents, primarily because they lack formal incident response plans and sufficient budgets.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents rate their "cyber resilience" as high or very high, an increase from 32% one year prior. Researchers define cyber resilience as "the alignment of prevention, detection and response capabilities to manage, mitigate and move on from cyber attacks."

However, 77% of respondents admit they don't have a formal incident response plan applied consistently across their organization. Nearly half say their plan is informal or nonexistent.

"There's a bit of a discrepancy," says Ted Julian, vice president of product management at IBM Resilient. "Respondents are saying they're feeling more confident about their cyber resilience, yet when you look at the details of the components that would create good cyber resiliency, they didn't score nearly as well."

These components include skilled talent, information governance practices, formal incident response plan across the business, technologies addressing the severity and volume of attacks, sufficient funding, senior management support, and visibility into data and applications.

The top reason cited for improved cyber resiliency was hiring skilled personnel (61%), followed by better information governance (60%), and visibility into data assets and applications (57%).

Yet hiring continues to be an obstacle: the inability to hire and retain skilled personnel was the second-most common barrier to cyber resilience, reported 56% of respondents. Seventy-nine percent said the importance of having skilled security pros in an incident response plan was "high" or "very high," and 77% rated the difficulty in hiring and retaining them as very high.

Part of the reason is incident response experts need a broad range of skills. They have to know a little bit of everything: endpoint, network, operating system, the ins and outs of malware.

"It's notoriously difficult, both to keep these people and to find them," he says. "People with incident response skills are in extremely high demand … it's a diverse, hard-to-find skill set that exacerbates this talent crunch."

The largest barrier to cyber resiliency was lack of investment in new cybersecurity technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning (60%). Julian explains how tools leveraging AI can help with "alert fatigue" so analysts can focus on more complex tasks. Some key components of incident reponse plans -- checking the EDR platform, deploying URL monitoring -- can all be automated, he says.

Incident Response Isn't One-Size-Fits-All

Some will have an incident response plan that's really thin, and it's hard to say it does anything particularly well, says Julian. Others will try to overcompensate by including every possible scenario in one plan, in which case their strategy is unwieldy.

Different incidents require different responses. What will you do if there's a DDoS attack? A ransomware attack? What happens in the case of a stolen laptop? Creating a separate plan for each distinct type of incident is critical.

You also must factor in everyone involved. A common mistake, especially in organizations with less mature plans, is neglecting to include third parties. If an incident occurs at a company that handles your customers' data, you need a process to respond appropriately.

Julian emphasizes the importance of practicing plans once they've been developed. Fire drills and tabletop exercises, during which team members go through the motions to understand their roles and responsibilities, will prove critical in the chaos following a data breach.

Related Content:

Interop ITX 2018

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop ITX. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Early Bird Rates Expire March 16. Use Promo Code 200KS to Save an Extra $200. Check out the security track here.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19594
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
reset/modules/fotoliaFoto/multi_upload.php in the RESET.PRO Adobe Stock API Integration for PrestaShop 1.6 and 1.7 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a .php file.
CVE-2019-19595
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
reset/modules/advanced_form_maker_edit/multiupload/upload.php in the RESET.PRO Adobe Stock API integration 4.8 for PrestaShop allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading a .php file.
CVE-2019-3690
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
The chkstat tool in the permissions package followed symlinks before commit a9e1d26cd49ef9ee0c2060c859321128a6dd4230 (please also check the additional hardenings after this fix). This allowed local attackers with control over a path that is traversed by chkstat to escalate privileges.
CVE-2013-0243
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
haskell-tls-extra before 0.6.1 has Basic Constraints attribute vulnerability may lead to Man in the Middle attacks on TLS connections
CVE-2018-10021
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
Improper validation of URL redirection in the Kubernetes API server in versions prior to v1.14.0 allows an attacker-controlled Kubelet to redirect API server requests from streaming endpoints to arbitrary hosts. Impacted API servers will follow the redirect as a GET request with client-certificate c...