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Cybersecurity Crisis Reaches New Heights

By Craig Carpenter, Chief Marketing Officer at AccessData

It’s often helpful to poke our heads above the tree line and see what’s happening in the world around us in the form of major cybersecurity trends affecting all of us. With cybersecurity incidents and developments in the headlines daily, there’s no better time to try to make sense of it all – and plot a line across trends to show us where the market is headed.

Here are just the top stories in the news from the past few months.  As you’ll see, they all point in the same direction, namely the dire need for near real-time detection, remediation, response and resolution of cyber incidents:

  • The OpenSSL story is just getting started.  The “Heartbleed” Open SSL flaw was a very big deal when uncovered a mere month ago, as Open SSL is used to secure roughly 2/3 of the world’s web sites.  Now just a month later there is reportedly a second major flaw in Open SSL that leaves unpatched web servers vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack.

That’s a staggering amount of news for the cybersecurity industry to absorb in a year, let alone in a four week span.  But while the stories themselves are all different, they all point in the same direction for the cybersecurity market.  Here’s what they’re telling us about where the cybersecurity world is and where it’s headed:

  • Everyone is compromised, so you’d better be ready to act.  The days of keeping bad guys out are gone.  State-sponsored hackers have virtually limitless resources and time – something none of the rest of us enjoy.  And even if state-sponsored hackers aren’t focused on your crown jewels, there is undoubtedly some vulnerability already on your network you aren’t even aware of (think Open SSL).  By far your safest approach is to assume you’ll be compromised.  Which means that…
  • Detection, confirmation and quick remediation are the keys.  If you are going to be compromised, you need to know where and when bad things are happening – real compromises, not false alarms – so they can be shut down.  As Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report shows, speed here matters a great deal, both in detection and dwell time (time between discovery and remediation), as it can take mere minutes for critical data to be exfiltrated from a network.
  • Quick remediation is critical, but so is insight.  With so many government entities pushing to codify stringent breach notification requirements – and a 24-hour breach reporting requirement threatening to go EU-wide – knowing what happened with any material breach has also become mandatory.  Waiting days or weeks to let customers know what may have happened with their data simply won’t cut it going forward.

While these cybersecurity requirements may seem daunting, they shouldn’t be.  An era of continuous compromise calls for a response that is equally continuous, fast and comprehensive.  As an industry, we need to look beyond anti-virus and single point solutions and focus on the integration and sharing of threat detection and response to address these sophisticated attacks.

Craig Carpenter - RecommindCraig Carpenter is the Chief Marketing Officer at AccessData. Prior to joining AccessData Craig was VP of Marketing and Business Development at Recommind where he pioneered and popularized predictive coding and predictive information governance into the hottest trends in the e-discovery and GRC markets, respectively. He has also taught graduate-level courses at the University of San Francisco in digital rights management and high-tech marketing. Craig believes the key to success is always maintaining a high-integrity, customer-centric focus.

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