Opened by John Girard, the Gartner Security and Risk Summit has a focus on creating a culture of risk management and security.
"Digital business will impact your professional life with security problems as much as or more, than the emergence of the Internet", said Girard as he addressed the largest audience Gartner has ever drawn to their annual security summit.
According to Gartner research quoted by Girard, 22% of businesses rank the connection of billions of Internet-connected devices as their number one business concern.
"There is not such thing as perfect detection", he added, saying that as we make the world more open, our ability to maintain tight security and control everything becomes more and more difficult. The challenge has been that increased openness has delivered great capacity for innovation.
For example, the Internet of Things will provide unprecedented opportunities for innovative developers to deliver new products and services that we have never before imagined. However, these are risks to consider. What if your personal data could be exfiltrated from your home via your refrigerator.
According to Girard "Our problems are caused by overreacting on one hand and failing to stay the course on the other".
This is because we have failed to reset effectively as each major change has occurred in the IT landscape.
The models and methods we employed in the past do not work in the new world.
Time to reset how we do security
One of the main attack surfaces used by malware distributors is a lack of updated and patched systems, as well as poor management of user privileges. According to research from Microsoft over 90% of security vulnerabilities are avoidable if users on Windows workstations aren’t logged in with administrative rights. This leads to privilege attacks.
As Mark Beaumont of RSA put in a later panel discussion “My 70 year old mother is not going to patch her refrigerator”.
According to Girard, there are ways to balance the needs of users who need lots of control over their systems but don’t need full administrative rights.
One of the challenges faced by security staff is the high number of security alerts. However, according to Girard, one Gartner client was able to use smart filtering rules to target real risks rather than the massive amounts of noise generated by security applications and appliances. That client was able to reduce over 20m alerts to just six that required attention through use of smart and automated filters.
Read more: Security threats through the Cloud
Research by Gartner, that was presented by Research Vice President Andrew Walls during the opening keynote, suggested that security is not a high priority for CIO spending. Ne reason, according to Walls was that security is embedded within other technology priorities and not a separate "line item" in the budget.
"We need to market security behaviour to people", according Walls. That means changing the behaviour of individuals. He said this meant companies need to stop rewarding people for taking risks and provide education through advertising and story-telling so that they enthusiastically take responsibility for security - what Walls calls "people-centric security".
The Continuing Security/Business Disconnect
Paul Proctor, Distinguished Analyst and the chief of research for security and risk management, says that one of the problems is that the C-Suite sees that there is a cultural disconnect and that IT security is a technical issue. This is why CSOs and CISOs lose their jobs when there is a breech.
"Management does not understand that security is continuous", telling the audience that security is not a project that has a beginning and end.
The crisis is that we have not convinced our leaders that security has to adapt.
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