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.

Endpoint Security

10/29/2019
02:07 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

Endpoints Fail Predictably: Absolute

A security firm based in Vancouver, Canada, has issued a disturbing 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report that finds security spending not worth the bucks.

Absolute, a security firm based in Vancouver, Canada, has issued a disturbing 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report that finds "much of endpoint security spend is voided because tools and agents fail, reliably and predictably."

The report resulted from a one-year study that was conducted by Absolute's security research team. Data was gathered from over 1 billion change events on over 6 million devices.

The devices represent data from 12,000 anonymized organizations across North America and Europe. Each device had Absolute's endpoint visibility and control platform (the product that they sell) activated.

Researchers applied an Endpoint Resiliency Index to the sample to establish a baseline and monitored the results over a 12-month period. The Endpoint Resiliency Index applies the method used by the World Economic Forum's Environmental Performance Index to track the overall direction of key variables of quality.

The research found that devices can have ten or more endpoint security agents installed -- including encryption, AV/AM and client/patch management options. Since IDC has said that 70% of breaches will originate on the endpoint, and 35% of all breaches are caused by existing vulnerabilities.

Yet the report found that at any given point 28% of endpoints are unprotected, 21% had outdated AV/AM and 7% were missing altogether.\r\nOf those covered, more than one agent designed to perform the same service were present on the majority of devices (1.2 AV/AM agents per endpoint). This can mean collision and decay of the services they are designed to provide.

The report also found that 42% of endpoints experienced encryption failures. Indeed, the report says that encryption failures will occur reliably and predictably -- 2% of encryption agents failed every week. While half of all encryption failures occurred within two weeks, the rate of decay found by Absolute is constant: 8% failure per 30 days. Regardless of industry, 100% of devices experienced encryption failures within one year.

Client management and patching tools were found by the report to break reliably and predictably. Nineteen percent of endpoints were said by the report to require at least one client/patch management repair every month. Of those patching agents requiring repair, 75% reported at least two repair events and 50% reported three or more repair events.

Client patch management agents failed at double the rate of encryption agents. However, once failed, an encryption agent then reported seven times more repair events than client management agents.

The report summarizes is thrust as, "The data has shown how well-functioning controls fail. These failures occur without anyone -- threat actors, negligent users, and bots -- intending for failure to happen. Additionally, it shows how endpoint complexity amplifies this natural propensity for device security to degrade over time."

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Hacking It as a CISO: Advice for Security Leadership
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15596
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
The ALPS ALPINE touchpad driver before 8.2206.1717.634, as used on various Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops, allows attackers to conduct Path Disclosure attacks via a "fake" DLL file.
CVE-2020-15868
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager OSS/Pro before 3.26.0 has Incorrect Access Control.
CVE-2020-17362
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
search.php in the Nova Lite theme before 1.3.9 for WordPress allows Reflected XSS.
CVE-2020-17449
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
PHP-Fusion 9.03 allows XSS via the error_log file.
CVE-2020-17450
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
PHP-Fusion 9.03 allows XSS on the preview page.