Why Sec Ops Pays Off

Why Sec Ops Pays Off
Blind spots. They exist in every company. But when it comes to IT security and cyber threats, blind spot incidents can quickly become expensive fun. Getting a handle on acute problems is obvious. However, implementing more effective methods and processes in the medium and long term turns out to be a far greater challenge. It is not uncommon for there to be a lack of smooth interaction between IT security and IT operations (SecOps) if security risks are to be effectively minimized.

Why SecOps pays off

Another problem faced by public authorities, institutions, and companies in the private sector alike is the lack of qualified personnel. The consequences of this shortage affect two sensitive areas at once. IT security as such, i.e. effectively minimizing security risks and implementing appropriate methods and technologies. And in addition, to drive business-critical IT projects forward with the same limited resources.

It is no great surprise that the situation has now been further exacerbated by the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things with a myriad of networked devices, sensors, and plants.

Business interruptions and cyber incidents are most feared

Recently, the Allianz Group published its so-called “Risk Barometer” for the seventh time, with nearly 2,000 participants from 80 countries. Large, medium-sized and small companies were asked to indicate up to three risks that they consider to be the most important for them at present.

For the sixth time in a row, business interruption made it to the top of the list of the most feared risks worldwide. 42 percent of respondents see it that way. In terms of linking the two risks of business interruption and cyber incidents, the growing scale of digitalization is playing a crucial role. For the first time, cyber incidents are the most feared cause of the business interruption, and these in turn are the main cause of economic damage following a cybersecurity incident.

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Consequently, 40% of global respondents rate the risk of cyber incidents as the second greatest risk companies face overall.

Despite this obvious dovetailing of the two biggest risks, the majority of companies continue to rely on traditional security solutions based on the detect-and-respond model. This includes, not least, signature-based antivirus solutions, which have a whole range of disadvantages and require a great deal of manual effort. Which does not necessarily help to relieve the burden on IT and IT security departments.

Analysts, such as KPMG most recently, are vehemently appealing to managers in boardrooms to be a little more imaginative when it comes to their IT and IT security investments. That is, to invest in tools that give them what they urgently need, namely transparency in their network to reliably detect attacks, but also vulnerabilities and security holes within the existing infrastructure. It still happens that companies only realize that a successful attack has taken place years after it happened.

More security layers do not automatically mean more security. Predictive solutions work differently. They use technology based on artificial intelligence that uses mathematical models to protect clients and servers more effectively. Many providers claim machine learning and artificial intelligence for their solutions, but in practice hardly any analysis can do without a “patient zero”.

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In the meantime, however, there are technologies that are genuinely based on machine learning and artificial intelligence to prevent attacks and malware attacks as far in advance as possible. This is done by statistically analyzing identical blocks or files in the code of malware. The software evaluates observations, recognizes recurring or matching patterns, and allows predictive analysis on this basis.

Why SecOps pays off

When companies use appropriate technologies to prevent malware from running in the first place, it has a direct impact on the productivity of the teams involved.

  1. Deprioritization of false positives – Detect-and-respond-based solutions assume that data breaches are ultimately inevitable. Forward-looking models that focus on prevention allow a SecOp team to develop appropriate predictive paradigms instead of continuing to be purely reactive. And thus tie up more resources than necessary.
  2. Focus on strategic threat assessments – with the paradigm shift from a reactive to a preventive cybersecurity model, SecOp teams have the ability to proactively identify attack vectors and scenarios. This not only minimizes the attack surface but allows limited IT resources to be used most efficiently.
  3. More efficiency in recruitment – Finding suitable, i.e. highly qualified, personnel has become difficult for many companies in the field of IT security. Not only small and medium-sized companies are hardly able to fill such positions. In view of this, companies should increasingly look for precisely those solutions that tie up fewer resources rather than more, for example, because round-the-clock monitoring is unavoidable.
  4. Save costs, operate more profitably – Efficient recruitment and the smooth interaction of IT security and IT operations in minimizing security risks streamlines an organization overall. At the same time, employees are more productive overall while strategic initiatives support business growth. This is helped by the fact that employees are not disturbed by constant alerts or the regular scans required by traditional antivirus solutions. Especially in the environment of public authorities and administrations with a multitude of files that are opened and closed in quick succession, this is a tedious task.
  5. Key performance indicators that matter – In the meantime, it matters less how high the number of certain transactions is. For example, how many viruses were moved to quarantine in a given period of time? Now it’s more about quantifying the impact of a preventive model in cybersecurity on an organization’s overall security posture, efficiency, and profitability.
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Companies worldwide fear nothing more than the risks associated with business interruption and cyber incidents, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer. These are all the more serious because the two are inextricably linked. In parallel, the pressure on IT departments and human resources is growing.

Overall, however, previous models are increasingly being called into question. The change has already taken place in some areas, from protection against risks to a forward-looking approach. No one seems to want to seriously dispute the fact that machine learning and approaches based on artificial intelligence play an important role here.