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Security Budgets Going Up, Thanks To Mega-Breaches
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Rickkam
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Rickkam,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2015 | 7:20:46 PM
How does one know what the appropriate level of investment should be?
It is good to hear that the average security budget is increasing.  My question relates to how one knows what the right level of investment is?  And also what is the right success metric for security?  
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 10:55:38 AM
Re: How does one know what the appropriate level of investment should be?
That's a fantastic question that does not have a definitive answer. Each solution is unique to each enterprise. You want to spend the right amount of capital towards a cyber security program but you also want to ensure that you are not erecting a $1 million fence around a $1 asset. A security program needs to have the right balance of active personnel and tools that are preventative and reactive. This is also dependent on what data types a company houses and who they do business with. My point here is that there is a variety of factors that will go into each implementation. This decision needs to be made by the powers that be but security needs to be one of the seats at the table to rationalize future endeavors. As you can see from the article, even throughing massive amounts of money at the issue doesn't make you 100% secure.
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:02:21 AM
Re: How does one know what the appropriate level of investment should be?
Those are tough questions to answer, and I doubt you will get definitive ones. If you ask the companies that have been breached, they will likely tell you that they did not have the right level of investment in IT security despite having spent many millions of dollars on it, and that they did not have the right success metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of their IT security. The reality is that the level of investment is really a matter of risk assessment and management. You can easily spend more than the value of that which you wish to protect, so the issue becomes a management decision. Metrics too can be a tricky venture. Periodic security assessments are certainly a must. These should include penetration tests, vulnerability assessments, awareness training tests,  and social engineering tests, the results of which must be tabulated and examined over a course of time for effectiveness. In all cases, the results must trend increasingly to the positive. Additionally, I cannot overemphasize the use of an external party to perform these tests in addition to similar ones performed by internal resources. You must get an objective point of view in order to properly assess your security posture.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/22/2015 | 11:17:13 AM
Training: The elephant in the room
It's notworthy that the report is unclear on how much is being invested in training and new personnel. The best technology in the world won't help if the security team doesn't have the expertise to use it effectively.  
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:31:24 AM
Re: Training: The elephant in the room
Case in point could be Target, the breach that keeps on giving. Incident Response certainly failed them; malware was detected early and not acted upon. I wonder how much training their security team had undergone, and if any security exercises were performed. In an organization as large as that, one would think that those exercises are part of their routine.

"Through our investigation, we learned that after these criminals entered our network, a small amount of their activity was logged and surfaced to our team. That activity was evaluated and acted upon." "Based on their interpretation and evaluation of that activity, the team determined that it did not warrant immediate follow up." Those were the words of a Target spokesperson after the breach. I understand that there are literally hundreds of alerts received by their security team daily, but perhaps with better knowledge and training, certain types of alerts could be elevated and acted upon accordingly.


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