Where Businesses Waste Endpoint Security Budgets

Too many systems, failure to test tools, and fear of replacement drive endpoint complexity and render products less effective.

Kelly Sheridan, Former Senior Editor, Dark Reading

July 15, 2019

9 Slides

The endpoint security market is teeming with tools, each promising to help identify and remediate threats better than the rest. New technologies built to fix age-old issues seem a worthy investment, but as businesses are finding, there can be too much of a good thing.

"If there's a problem, there's certainly a technology you can throw at it, and there's certainly no shortage of people in Silicon Valley to tell us that it's so," says Josh Mayfield, director of security strategy at Absolute. Organizations get into a mindset of "throwing money at the problem."

The global information security market is predicted to hit $170.4 billion by 2022, Gartner reports. And as Dark Reading learned in its survey "How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem," much of organizations' security budgets are spend on endpoint security: Eighty-four percent of respondents use email security and spam filtering, 81% employ antivirus and anti-malware tools, 75% use endpoint protection, and 68% have invested in data encryption.

As the place where 70% of breaches originate, the endpoint is a prime target for cyberattacks, Absolute found in its "2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report." The most common endpoint products focus on antivirus/anti-malware, encryption, and client and patch management. Over time, as new methodologies arise and new tools appear, businesses want those as well.

The ever-changing threat landscape also influences security spend, says Gus Evangelakos, director of field engineering at Comodo. Fileless attacks are on the rise, as are "living off the land" attacks in which cybercriminals use Powershell and other tools in the environment to conduct reconnaissance and move laterally across the network after they break in.

"That's why you're seeing statistics that attackers are on the network six months before they're detected," Evangelakos says. The motivation to capture these intruders is causing companies to spend more money on more tools – but is their investment paying off? Oftentimes no, experts say. In its study of more than 6 million enterprise devices over a one-year period, Absolute researchers found much of endpoint security spend dissolves when tools eventually fail.

Here, security experts explain where organizations are misspending their endpoint budgets and how it's putting them at risk. Have any insight to add? Feel free to share in the Comments.


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About the Author(s)

Kelly Sheridan

Former Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Kelly Sheridan was formerly a Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focused 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 services. Sheridan earned her BA in English at Villanova University. You can follow her on Twitter @kellymsheridan.

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