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Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
  • Cybersecurity skills shortage threatens the mid-market

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Each year, respondents ESG's annual global survey of IT and cybersecurity professionals are asked to identify the area where their organizations have a problematic shortage of skills. For the sixth year in a row, cybersecurity skills topped the list—this year, 45% of the 641 respondents said their organization has a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills. Now, the cybersecurity skill shortage isn’t picky; it impacts all organizations across industries, organizational size, geography, etc. Nevertheless, global cybersecurity may be especially problematic for organizations in the mid-market, from 100 to 999 employees.Keep in mind that the skills shortage isn’t limited to headcount. Rather, it also includes skills deficiencies—situations where security staff members don’t have the right skills to address the dynamic and sophisticated threat landscape. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Cybersecurity remains an elusive business priority

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I’ve been remiss by not blogging earlier this year about ESG’s annual IT spending intentions research. The year 2017 continues to follow a pattern: Cybersecurity is a high business and IT priority for most organizations. Based upon a global survey of 641 IT and cybersecurity professionals, the ESG research reveals:
    While just over half (53%) of organizations plan on increasing IT spending overall this year, 69% said they are increasing spending on cybersecurity. As far as cybersecurity spending goes, 48% will make their most significant cybersecurity technology investments in cloud security, 39% will in network security, 30% in endpoint security, and 29% in security analytics.   
    Respondents were asked which business outcomes were their highest priorities for this year. The top three results were as follows: 43% said “reducing costs,” 40% said “increasing productivity," and 39% said “improving information security.” 
    When asked which business initiatives will drive the most IT spending, 39% said “increasing cybersecurity,” the top selection of all.
    When asked to identify the most important IT initiatives for this year, the number one answer was “strengthening cybersecurity controls and processes.” 
    For the sixth year in a row, survey respondents said cybersecurity is the area where their organization has the biggest problematic shortage of skills. This year, 45% of organizations said they have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills—nearly identical to last year’s results (46% said they had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills in 2016).

    Allow me to provide a bit of analysis to this data (after all, I am an industry analyst):To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • SOAPA services opportunities abound

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Security operations is changing, driven by a wave of diverse data types, analytics tools and new operational requirements. These changes are initiating an evolution from monolithic security technologies to a more comprehensive event-driven software architecture (along the lines of SOA 2.0) where disparate security technologies connect via enterprise-class middleware for things like data exchange, message queueing and risk-driven trigger conditions. ESG refers to this as a Security Operations and Analytics platform architecture or SOAPA.    When speaking or writing about SOAPA, I often compare this evolution to an analogous IT trend in the 1990s. Way back then, large organizations abandoned stand-alone departmental applications in favor or a more integrated software architecture, ERP. This transition resulted in a new generation of business applications acting as a foundation for greater automation, efficiency and profitability.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • People, process and technology challenges with security operations

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    These days, it’s tough for any organization to keep up with cybersecurity operations. Why? Well, the bad guys are pretty persistent for starters, launching a blitzkrieg of attacks and new types of exploits all the time. OK, hackers are relentless, but we’ve always know this, and their behavior isn’t likely to change anytime soon. What’s really disturbing, however, is that a lot of problems associated with cybersecurity are based upon our own intransigence. And organizations aren’t struggling with one issue, rather cybersecurity operations challenges tend to be spread across people, processes and technology. When it comes to security operations, it’s kind of a "death by a thousand cuts" situation. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • The 'new' McAfee

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I’ve worked with McAfee for a long time—from its independent days, during the Network Associates timeframe, through financial issues, back to McAfee and the go-go Dave DeWalt era, and finally as Intel Security. To be honest, Intel’s acquisition of McAfee was always a head-scratcher for me. The 20-somethings on Wall Street crowed about Intel cramming McAfee security in its chip set, but this made no sense to me—Intel had long added security (and other) functionality into its processors with lukewarm market reception. The two cultures were a mismatch, as well. Ultimately, it seems Intel came to a similar conclusion and recently spun out McAfee in a private equity stew. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Micro-segmentation projects span enterprise organizations

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Micro-segmentation is nothing new. We starting talking about the concept a few years ago with the onset of software-defined networking (SDN) technologies such as OpenFlow. More recently, micro-segmentation was most often associated with establishing trusted connections between cloud-based workloads.Micro-segmentation is simply a new software-based spin on the old practice of network segmentation that organizations have done for years with a variety of technologies—firewalls, VLANs, subnets, switch-based access control lists (ACLs), etc. In fact, many organizations use a potpourri of some or even all of these technologies. According to ESG research:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • RIP Raimund Genes, Trend Micro CTO

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Raimund Genes
    I learned this past Saturday that my good friend and Trend Micro CTO, Raimund Genes, passed away suddenly last week. Raimund was only 54.If you were lucky enough to cross paths with Raimund, you probably share my profound sorrow at his passing. For those who never had the pleasure of a meeting, allow me to provide a few thoughts about him:
    I first met Raimund at an industry event where he was supposed to go through a PowerPoint presentation with me. Upon shaking my hand, he said something like, “Let’s skip the formalities of a canned presentation, go to the bar, get a drink, and just talk.” We did have a drink at the bar that day, but what I remember most was an hour of insightful and entertaining banter. He was both informal and informative simultaneously, and we immediately connected.
    One of the things that I love about my job is that I get to speak to some of the smartest cybersecurity people—professionals, researchers, technology vendors, legislators, etc.—on a regular basis. Out of this exceptional population, however, some people stand out. I call these folks my “beacons” in that I’m more engaged when I speak with them and I always feel like I learned something when the conversation ends. Raimund was one of my beacons.
    Raimund used his knowledge, charisma and humor when delivering a presentation, and I found him to be one of the best presenters around. He entertained and educated at the same time, a rare gift. Heck, even his slides were often part of his overall shtick. Raimund could be jet lagged and the last presenter of the day, and he still always seemed to wow any audience.    
    Raimund didn’t have the public visibility of people like Dmitri Alperovitch (Crowdstrike), Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab) or Kevin Mandiant (FireEye), but boy did he know his stuff! Off the top of his head, he could tell you about the latest security breaches, new strains of malware, recently developed exploit kits, or hacker banter on the dark web. He was continually working on something with law enforcement organizations such as the FBI or Interpol so he couldn’t always share details, but even his high-level cybercrime descriptions could make the hair on your neck stand up. 
    Raimund was a true citizen of the world. It seemed like every time I saw him, he had just flown in from a trip that included a worldwide tour. This gave him a broad perspective on cybersecurity issues and strategies and a gift for sharing these experiences. He taught me about cybersecurity education in Korea, cybercrime in Brazil and regulations in Europe. For example, last October he educated a group of American cybersecurity analysts on impending requirements around GDPR. Since this visit, many of his predications have come true, and his recommendations were always sound.
    In spite of his knowledge, CTO position and global schedule, Raimund was completely down to earth and a straight shooter. As money and hyperbole flowed into the cybersecurity technology market, Raimund wasn’t afraid to call BS. He would always tell you what he thought and why without any hint of industry or organizational spin. And Raimund didn’t take himself too seriously. He could talk about polymorphic malware in one sentence and then leave you laughing with a joke in the next.

    Raimund was the whole package—extremely smart, charming, energetic, fun and engaging—which is why you couldn’t help but like him, appreciate his knowledge and enjoy his company. He was a great ambassador for the cybersecurity professional diaspora. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Organizations need strategic and proactive threat intelligence programs

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    In 2015, ESG did an in-depth research project on cyber threat intelligence usage at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees). The goal of this project was to determine how large firms were using threat intelligence, what challenges they faced, how they were addressing these challenges and what their strategies were moving forward.The research revealed that many threat intelligence programs were relatively immature—40 percent of threat intelligence programs had been in place fewer than two years at that time. Cybersecurity professionals were also asked to identify the top objectives for their organization’s threat intelligence program. The top results were as follows:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Cloud security still a work in progress

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    A few years ago, ESG (and other) research indicated that security concerns posed the biggest impediment for more pervasive use of cloud computing. What happened next?  Business executives and CIOs found that cloud agility, flexibility and potential cost savings were too good to pass up, creating a “cloud or bust” mentality. Naturally, CISOs had to do their best and go along for the ride whether they were ready or not.+ Also on Network World: The top 12 cloud security threats +
    So, how’s cloud security going at this point? ESG research indicates it is still a work in progress. As part of a recent survey, cybersecurity professionals were presented with a series of statements about cloud security and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with each one. Here are some of the results:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Why is incident response automation and orchestration so hot?

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I couldn’t attend the RSA Conference this year, but many cybersecurity professionals and my ESG colleagues told me that incident response (IR) automation and orchestration was one of the hottest topics in the halls of the Moscone Center—through the bar at the W hotel and even at the teahouse on the garden at Yerba Buena.   Was this rhetoric just industry hype? Nope. This buzz is driven by the demand side rather than suppliers. In truth, cybersecurity professionals need immediate IR help for several reasons:1. IR is dominated by manual processes. Let’s face it, IR tasks such as fetching data, tracking events or collaborating with colleagues depend upon the organizational, communications and technical skills of individuals within the security operations team. These manual processes ultimately get in the way of overall IR productivity.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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