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

9/5/2017
11:40 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Endpoint Security Overload

CISOs and their teams are over-investing in endpoint security tools, driving inefficiency and a need to consolidate data.

An excess of endpoint security tools in organizations is driving "information security debt," according to a new study.

The "Voice of the Enterprise" report by 451 Research and Digital Guardian on the use and consolidation of endpoint security tools found that the more endpoint security systems an enterprise has, the greater the cost of managing them. Security teams are struggling with inefficiency because they're moving from dashboard to dashboard all day.

Eric Ogren, senior analyst with 451 Research's information security team, says having more endpoint security tools doesn't necessarily provide better endpoint protection.

Overall spending on endpoint systems rose from 26.3% in 2015 to 29.4% in 2016, according to the study. The focus on risk was aligned with addressing an overall need for more skilled security professionals.

"We hear so much about the labor shortage; how hard it is for security teams to hire and retain people," says Ogren. "The problem's not so much a people problem, but a technology one. Every time you tie an endpoint product to a workstation, it's going to be noisy."

Researchers found two-thirds of larger businesses juggle up to five endpoint security tools; about one in ten respondents handle as many as ten. The surplus is leading to greater operational overhead and additional steps to learn about data generated about users, applications, and OS activity. As a result, infosec teams are overwhelmed and ultimately fail to protect against data loss.

Endpoint security has traditionally been very threat- and exploit-oriented, and businesses invest in point products when new risks appear. These tools stay put for a long time because each was bought for a particular need. As a result, enterprises have accumulated several solutions for data loss prevention, data encryption, access controls, intrusion detection, and firewalls.

Every endpoint tool produces a lot of events and a lot of data, Ogren explains, and "most of it is just junk." Security pros spend much of their time digging into, and clearing, endless alerts. They want to get trained on security and handling the business but don’t have time.

A data-focused approach

Researchers discovered a broad shift towards the consolidation of endpoint tools. Capabilities like disk encryption and host firewall/IDS, previously offered in individual products, are being incorporated into product suites or built into operating systems. The goal isn't only to remove silos between tools, but to create a more immediate view of threats to business data.

By consolidating endpoint systems, businesses can consistently collect accurate data and gain a broader view of their security posture without switching consoles. Leveraging analytics across large datasets can help monitor and prevent threats throughout an organization.

"It tackles information debt straightaway," says Ogren of consolidation. "Products have been a bit more comprehensive about their approach to security and what they import. What does get reported tends to be a lot more meaningful and a lot richer, with more analysis behind it."

The cloud is driving this trend, he notes, as businesses shift away from hardware-based products and toward cloud services. Hardware security tools made up 20% of security budgets one year ago compared with 17.9% today, and a predicted 17.1% in 2018, researchers found.

Bumps in the road

The shift to consolidation will have its obstacles, Ogren predicts. It will be difficult for security leaders to "de-commit" to a security problem by saying the business no longer needs a tool.

"Some CISOs put their credibility and integrity on the line, and it takes maturity to say 'the world has moved on, this is how we need to approach security now,'" he explains.

Many will also face the challenge of moving from a threat-centric approach to endpoint security, and towards a data-centric approach. Security teams will have to look at how their resources are being used before they address threats.

451 Research's Voice of the Enterprise study found the top three security pain points for the 12 months ending in June 2018 include user behavior (30.4%), accurate and timely monitoring of security events (21.8%), and staffing information security teams (20.7%).

Related Content:

Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable CISOs and IT security experts in a setting that is conducive to interaction and conversation. Click for more info and to register.

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
LouiseMiller
50%
50%
LouiseMiller,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/10/2017 | 9:07:29 AM
Interesting
Very interesting post, as for me) 
Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.