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Lacking Visibility: today’s biggest cybersecurity threat (and how to fix it)

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Do you know the condition of your cybersecurity estate right now? Most companies have a tenuous grasp on whether their cybersecurity products and services are working as expected. What is the status of your patching? Are the security services delivering what you pay for? Do you know what the gaps and blind spots are in your security coverage?

Above all, how long does it take for you to learn those answers? Days? Weeks? Creating accurate security reports takes time because you rely on numerous independent and uncoordinated vendor products with individual agents and data standards. Information often has to be manually compiled and harmonised into a single report.

Time and insight are precious commodities for cybersecurity. Information from last week is not very useful to your current threats. Most organisations struggle to develop comprehensive visibility of their cybersecurity systems. For many, real-time insight is just a dream.

The Visibility Problem

A lack of visibility is arguably the biggest threat to cybersecurity today. In a 2019 survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 65 percent of security professionals said lacking cybersecurity infrastructure and services visibility limits the effectiveness of their security operations.

Poor visibility generally results from five reasons:

  • Different security vendor products to manage.
  • Layered and hybrid environments.
  • Complex patch management and planning.
  • Sweating existing security investments.
  • Introducing new security systems to address specific risks.

“These are all sensible security practices,” says Lior Arbel, co-founder of security visibility platform, Encore. “But when they aren’t integrated or managed efficiently, they start working against security teams trying to catch up. At the same time, the teams are fighting threats that actively look for gaps in systems and places to hide criminal activities. Today’s security can fight these threats, but the sheer weight of looking after complex security environments can crush a safe digital environment.”

Security teams also have to keep in step with their organisations’ digital ambitions:

“Security is in very high demand today – everyone in an organisation wants security as part of what they do, whether that’s DevOps or working remotely. Security teams are expected to meet those expectations. But without proper visibility, they end up running from problem to problem, putting out fires without addressing overarching concerns.”

Results from the Ponemon survey agree: 78 percent of respondents said it could take months – even years – to resolve security issues, and 65 percent admit the resulting ineffectiveness has made them consider quitting or changing careers.

Creating Real-Time Reporting

Organisations can fix this situation with a security reporting platform. Such platforms draw data directly from applications and services, using API integration rather than vendor logs or agents. They create a unified ‘single answer’ view of your entire security operation, including patch levels and performance.

Necessity created these platforms: A managed security service provider discovered that relying on reports from customers and individual systems was too ineffective, so they developed tools that do the job more directly. Arbel echoes this narrative:

“We kept running into security visibility issues with client estates so we created a platform that connects to different security systems and draws their logging data directly, then presents the information in a unified dashboard, in near real-time. Once customers caught wind of what the platform does, they wanted to use it for themselves. It turned out to be very useful for their security planning and budgeting,” says Arbel.

Cybersecurity is complicated. As companies spread their digital reach to branches, the cloud, and devices that travel with employees, they must cover risks with creative and multi-layered solutions. Yet if they aren’t careful, those attempts reduce their visibility – and it’s in the darkness where cybercriminals strike. Security reporting platforms provide the answer, providing clarity and actionable knowledge of all your systems right now, not next month.

By Staff Writer. 

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