Incident responses to cyber attacks take over two working days, according to survey

Deep Instinct, which claims to be the first company to develop a purpose-built deep learning framework for cybersecurity, released the second edition of its bi-annual Voice of SecOps Report.

The research, which seeks to discover the cyber security concerns keeping CISOs and SecOps professional up at night, found that 83% of cybersecurity professionals believe they should be getting more from their AV and EDR solutions. The theme of this initial research was clear, CISOs want and deserve better from the cybersecurity industry.

The current research report builds upon the previous findings to go deeper into drivers behind that sentiment and explore pressing issues and priorities, including:

• Key concerns and overall priorities for CISOs and their teams

• Significant factors inhibiting the ability to prevent attacks

• Strategic investments and the balance between prevention vs detection

This research is based on findings by The Hayhurst Consultancy, which Deep Instinct commissioned to conduct one of the cyber security industry research studies in 2021 surveying 1,500 senior cyber security professionals in 11 countries across six core market verticals.

Management summary

The research shows that it currently takes SecOps teams the better part of 24 hours to respond to a typical cyber event once it has been detected. Remediation often takes several additional days and sometimes weeks or months. Given that the fastest ransomware can encrypt in just 15 seconds, there is often substantial dwell time for attackers to move laterally before detection an “SLA” that is untenable to CISOs and customers.

When an attack is successful, this time lag allows for malware to quickly take root and spread within the host’s environment. The longer the attackers remain inside an environment, free to move laterally to reach their goals, the more difficult, risky, and costly incident resolution becomes.

The cybersecurity industry is in clear need of improved cyber controls that will help diminish time-to-resolution and prevent malware from compromising an organisation’s defences. The good news is that nearly half of the professionals surveyed believe that true prevention is possible.

45% of respondents believe it is currently possible to prevent all malware threats from infiltrating their organisation’s network

Respondents also have a very positive forward-thinking outlook on prevention. In all, 66% of respondents believe it may be possible to prevent all malware threats from infiltrating their organisation’s network in the next 2-5 years.

One of the clearest takeaways from the research is that we need to rethink approaches to security in light of the challenges and increased risk that organisations are facing with a higher volume and greater degree of sophistication of today’s threats.

The research revealed 6 key risks that cybersecurity teams are being challenged to mitigate:

Endpoint Risk

The number of endpoints is increasing. The challenge lies in both identifying and protecting them without impacting operational efficiency.

Cloud Risk

Public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments increase the challenge of a business having full visibility into its endpoints. Additionally, a significant number of cybersecurity professionals cannot guarantee that files already stored in their cloud do not contain malware.

File Upload Risk

The increasing volume of file uploads that may contain malware, such as .exe files, as well as those by partners and other third parties, creates a malware monitoring headache.

Hybrid Workforce Risk

The trend to remote work where anywhere and anytime is the new normal and creates a larger, more vulnerable attack surface.

Software Security Exposure Risk

Network attached storage and virtual servers are seen as being especially vulnerable.

Human Risk

Despite investing in training, most cybersecurity professionals don’t trust their end users to not click on malicious links.

The perception of threat prevention

It’s clear from the research that cybersecurity professionals understand and embrace the fact that their role is one of the most challenging in business today. Businesses have placed more emphasis on both prevention and detection as malware threats increase. Threat detection (62%) has seen a slightly higher increase globally than prevention (57%), but both are clearly seen as important.

More than half (55%) of the 1,500 professionals we surveyed believe it is not currently possible to prevent all malware from infiltrating their organisation’s network. In fact, only one in eight respondents (13%) currently believe preventing all malware is “definitely possible” (with the balance of respondents unsure).

That view is consistent in every country we surveyed for this research most pointedly in Italy, where not a single respondent believed it is definitely possible to prevent all malware from infiltrating their organisation’s network at this moment. However, cybersecurity professionals may take comfort in the fact that their peers in the Technology space are twice as likely.

Survey methodology

Deep Instinct’s report analysed feedback from 1,500 senior cybersecurity professionals across 11 key countries that work for businesses with more than 1,000 employees and revenue north of $500M (€430.32M) annually. Respondents were found in six core verticals: financial services, retail and eCommerce, healthcare, manufacturing, the public sector, critical infrastructure, and technology-related businesses.

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