In the past, cybersecurity has often been seen as disconnected from the rest of the IT team, as well as from an enterprise’s core business activities. Security professionals in some organisations have been left to operate in their own organisational structures, defining and enforcing policies with little interaction with other departments. This—and a perception that security is a “backstop” rather than a contributor to growth plans—has led to some stakeholders forming dangerous misconceptions about cybersecurity and its best practices. Allow me to mythbust three of the most prevalent misconceptions!
Misconception #1: security is a self-contained function
Time and again, cybersecurity incidents prove that breaches can have a devastating impact on businesses, even impacting stock prices. A lack of lines of communication about business objectives and operational decisions into security departments means organisations are often ill-prepared for potential attacks, and unable to identify and protect key data and digital assets.
Security teams should be the first to learn about any significant changes to the business, such as merger and acquisition activities, investments and divestments, outsourcing and insourcing. Each new business transformation carries risk, risk that must be identified and mitigated before disaster strikes.
Misconception #2: security is all about mitigation
It’s often tempting to imagine cybersecurity as a sort of physical security guard; a black box appliance with a red blinky light. The appliance keeps “bad” things out while allowing “good” things in. This binary approach to data—labeling things as “good” or “bad”—is at the heart of many mitigation strategies.
And of course mitigation is important. Known malware must be fought off, and employees should always avoid sharing data through unapproved communication channels. However, a significant proportion of security incidents are caused by known and trusted traffic patterns, and therefore require a sophisticated approach, rather than just a signature or fingerprint.
This is where visibility and analytics come into play. Modern machine learning (ML)-driven security platforms enable SOCs to investigate suspicious behaviour beyond heavy-handed “allow” or “block” decisions, and take the necessary steps to prevent a potentially devastating impact on the business.
The old approach of “allow or block” doesn’t work anymore. Security needs to understand nuance and context, actively managing data protection with a zero trust methodology.
Misconception #3: cloud service providers ensure the security of data in the cloud
While any modern SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS delivers some form of security it would be naïve to assume that such an integrated service would resolve all potential challenges. Yet, time and time again organisations exempt their trusted cloud services from inline security control. As a result, cloud storage services and infrastructure are by far the most popular method for malicious actors to deliver malware, phish and exploit employee trust. Just see our latest Cloud and Threat Report to see all the big trusted names that malicious actors are using to deliver malware.
Organisations need to ensure that their cloud presence is secured not only with integrated capabilities, but that is also controlled and audited using posture management tools.