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adaptive security

A study by SentinelOne reveals that 50% of U.S organizations have experienced a ransomware attack in 2016 and worse still, a whopping 85% have faced three or more in the same year!

The problem statement is quite clear. Information security is rife with problems.

Every year, security audits expose loopholes that are practically unavoidable, or are identified far too late. The ubiquity of ransomware attacks has led to IT managers and personnel quickly losing faith in traditional antivirus software. However, the threat of ransomware is not going to diminish any time soon. In fact, it can only get worse with the rapid proliferation of smarter hackers and evolved cybercriminals. It is speculated that money gained through cybercrimes is being reinvested into building sneakier methods of challenging even the strongest encryption measures.

There are multiple concerns for organizations:

Firstly, there is constant pressure on organizations to deal with ongoing attacks, which means they are spending an inordinate amount of time trying to block and battle various breaches. When an attack occurs, an organization’s reputation as well as highly sensitive data are both at risk, which means IT staff and management is far too occupied with trying to eradicate or mitigate an existing breach, rather than fine tune their big picture cybersecurity strategy.

So, while organizations are spending away their time fixing today’s attacks, they are unable to invest resources or effort into avoiding or even preparing for any future attacks.

Secondly, discovering the weakness in the system that has led to the security breach, albeit belated, is no mean task – it involves carefully examining endless logs and alerts.

Thirdly, although we have several technology solutions in the market, all claiming and somewhat succeeding at addressing security risks, organizations are still struggling with an inherent flaw in the information security architecture, which is – failing at taking human behavior into account.

Finally, organizations are faced with budget, time, and expertise constraints. Often, the situation is worsened by their inability to think beyond the vicious circle of traditional approaches.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way!

There is a way for organizations to address the evolving nature of security threats.

Organizations have to seriously consider adopting a security model that can adapt as policies, infrastructure, and most importantly, security threats and breach techniques evolve and become increasingly sinister.

Recently, “adaptive security,” a concept talked about by Gartner in its report Designing an Adaptive Security Architecture for Protection From Advanced Attacks, has drawn keen attention. In fact, Digital Journal speculates that between 2007-2017, the adaptive security market will grow exponentially.

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How does adaptive security work?

Adaptive security helps organizations preempt strikes from malware and hackers, rather than focus on extensive logs and alerts and going on the “defense” belatedly. Using its heuristics, the software analyzes application and system behavior to identify unusual occurrences as well as their source. Studying patterns and behaviors is far more effective in protecting against security breaches, than traditional security solutions.

It also involves a close understanding of the environment of the network, as well as knowledge of specific locations of all assets involved, namely, routers, servers, and various applications. Knowing where assets and important data allows you to assess vulnerabilities and identify weak areas that attackers can leverage to sneak in.

How adaptive security can benefit organizations

  • Adaptive security offers a closer level of control which in turn allows you to better adapt to network and computing changes, and also gives you better monitoring abilities through the use of smart dashboards
  • As soon as new and unusual behaviors are noticed, alerts are sent to the concerned security staff members, thus eliminating the need for interruptions to functions while still effectively responding to changes in the environment. Without the need for external control, the software itself blocks behaviors while still enabling human intervention
  • The most important benefit that adaptive security offers and what would really resonate with IT leaders is that it gives you the intelligence required to anticipate when or how an attack might occur. This includes leveraging patterns to detect techniques, and methods that might be used by hackers. Instead of spending time and effort battling attacks after they happen, adaptive security enables organizations to identify and stop breaches from happening at all.
  • Implemented correctly, the adaptive security approach allows organizations to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Being cognizant of pitfalls helps them make the decision to either choose a cyber security partner to augment their security measures or perhaps find the right technology solution to invest in.

Every organization has challenges that are unique to its business, but embracing adaptive security can help them make better decisions in allocating budget, time, and resources. With adaptive security, both the digital and physical elements of your security systems are brought together. The result can be a computing environment that is not only more secure, but also easier to use.

Interestingly, sometimes, the most effective security measures can also be the simplest ones. The next time security your organization is faced with the outcomes derived from security audits, you may want to evaluate to see if adaptive security might be a good fit for your business. If the idea of strengthening your enterprise’s security strategy with a surprisingly small investment sounds appealing to you, do get in touch with one of our IT security experts to learn more on how to get started.

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