Narus Cyber Survey: Situational Awareness Essential To Protect Critical Infrastructure

More than 55 percent of respondents are concerned that their company is not equipped to protect its networks from cyberattacks

February 29, 2012

6 Min Read


SAN FRANCISCO, CA and SUNNYVALE, CA, Feb 28, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- RSA CONFERENCE -- Narus, Inc., the leader in real-time network traffic intelligence and analytics, today announced the results of its annual cyber security survey. As in years past, the survey was sponsored jointly with Converge! Network Digest and GSN: Government Security News, and queried a focus group comprising security professionals in a variety of industries. The results provide critical insight into cyber security concerns, opinions and expectations for protection against attacks as this year's RSA(R) Conference 2012 ramps up.

While the cyber world has brought about incredible conveniences in business and everyday life alike, it remains an untamed frontier, rife with its own brand of crime that ultimately compromises a quality of life and data that is now wholly dependent on the Internet. Critical infrastructures that support banking, finance, healthcare, utilities and government are just a few that are vulnerable to attack, and without them entire nations can be devastated. Still, many of these networks are guarded by siloed and non-integrated solutions that, alone, cannot hope to outwit sophisticated cyber attacks, let alone deliver cyber situational awareness that is necessary for the protection of critical infrastructures. These unprotected networks are literally inviting cyber mayhem, and the livelihood and security of the world's citizens hangs in the balance.

Survey results highlight cyber security issues

Key findings from the survey showed:

-- More than 55 percent of respondents are concerned that their company is not equipped to protect its networks from cyber attacks; approximately 85 percent think the government is not equipped to protect its networks. -- The overwhelming majority of respondents (93.8 percent) believe cyber attacks are on the rise. -- Inability to protect sensitive and confidential data (64.6 percent), viruses and malware (62.5 percent), social media attacks (52.1 percent), being able to analyze threats in real time (50 percent) and zero-day attacks (47.9) all ranked high as significant threats to organizations today. -- More than 79 percent of the respondents believe the best way to protect against cyber attacks is with a solution that detects, analyzes and mitigates unwanted, unwarranted or malicious traffic in real time. -- The respondents believe that the following three factors are most important when evaluating a cyber security solution: detection and remediation of advanced persistent threats, detection of bots and real-time threat analysis.

Government networks left vulnerable Once again, the majority of respondents this year feel cyber attacks are showing no signs of slowing; in fact, the actual percentage held steady at 93.8 percent of respondents (as compared with 93 percent in 2010). Inability to protect sensitive data, viruses, malware and inability to analyze threats in real time present the biggest threats, according to respondents. The increasing sophistication of attacks is also worrying 91.7 percent of respondents, no doubt due to the onslaught of advanced persistent threats (APTs) like non-signature attacks.

The survey indicates that companies are bolstering their cyber security efforts, and therefore the confidence of their employees. Indeed, the number of respondents concerned that their company is not well-equipped to protect against cyber attacks has slipped over the past year (55 percent in 2011 vs. 71 percent in 2010), suggesting that companies are now at least beginning to implement technology that stands up to sophisticated threats. Additionally, 42.6 percent of respondents indicated that their companies have increased their respective cyber security budgets since 2010. But the same respondents were not so confident in the government's ability to protect its networks. Eighty-five percent of respondents believe government networks remain vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Real-time detection, analysis, mitigation again emerge as critical attributes in cyber security Certainly, the cyber threat landscape is increasingly diversified and sophisticated, and requires a worthy adversary in a cyber security solution -- one that delivers "situational awareness." Almost 80 percent of this year's survey respondents agree, citing a solution that provides real-time detection, analysis and mitigation of sophisticated attacks as the best choice for cyber protection. (More than one-half of respondents believe a solution with these attributes exists.)

Furthermore, our respondents identified the top criteria needed in an ideal solution. The detection and remediation of APTs emerged as a top criterion, followed by real-time threat analysis and detection and remediation of bots.

Narus brings the main shortcomings of cyber protection into sharp focus by asking, "How can you protect what you can't see? Where is the 'brain' that intelligently deduces what anomalies to search for in a network's traffic that could be problematic?" NarusInsight, Narus' flagship product, leverages a scalable, flexible and powerful architecture and a combination of patented real-time traffic intelligence and cyber analytics to provide unique insight into the quality of the network and traffic and subsequently the security of any critical infrastructure. NarusInsight offers a total network view of heterogeneous networks and traffic content by providing deep insight into multiple layers of network traffic. The information is provided in real time, enabling customers to see clearly what is happening in their networks from Layer 2 though Layer 7 and use this information to quickly mitigate malicious activity and optimize network assets. Network operators are able to proactively guard against cyber threats and maintain the integrity, quality and efficiency of their network and data.

"Each year, the cyber security survey yields results that consistently underscore the importance of real-time detection and analysis of network traffic," said Greg Oslan, CEO and president of Narus. "We look forward to working with our customers and partners to help them better manage and protect their networks against the increased volume and sophistication of cyber threats with NarusInsight."

The entire "2011 Cyber Security Report" will be available at the RSA Conference 2012 in the Narus booth, No. 2017. Please visit to register.

Narus Survey Methodology The survey questions were developed by Narus, Converge! Network Digest and Government Security News. Opinions were gathered online from a focus group of respondents that represent a cross-section of professionals in a variety of industries.

About Narus Narus provides real-time network traffic intelligence and analytics software that analyzes IP traffic and flow data to map the digital DNA (or behavior) of the network.

Through its patented analytics, Narus' carrier-class software detects patterns and anomalies that predict and identify security issues, misuse of network resources, suspicious or criminal activity, and other events that compromise the integrity of IP networks. The NarusInsight System is designed to be a next-generation Network Analysis and Visibility (NAV) solution integrated into a customer's operational environment, strengthening existing security and monitoring systems, while providing total traffic visibility across the network.

NarusInsight helps protect and manage the largest IP networks around the world, and has been deployed with commercial and government installations on five continents. Narus is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company BA -0.20% , and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with regional offices around the world.

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