If 2011 was the Year of the Breach, then security information and event management specialists from Sensage expect 2012 to be the Year of Inspection. According to the results of the software vendor's multi-year industry analysis, companies are becoming far more interested in assessing the granular details of their security postures. Unfortunately, progress has been hard to come by despite this change of perspective.
As network managers look to expand their situational awareness, the methods by which their teams collect security information and interpret security events have been placed under the microscope. But as they look under the lens, many have noted a number of discrepancies that are producing a dearth of actionable intelligence and ultimately calling the fidelity of data into question.
According to Sensage, the proportion of IT executives demanding better data access and analysis capabilities rose from 57 percent to 79 percent between 2011 and 2012. As a result, just 22 percent of companies would describe their data security teams as "very effective" at addressing risks.
Acknowledging the issues
The silver lining to these concerning revelations has been the honest assessments that have ensued. For example, just 21 percent of respondents to the Sensage study indicated that they were employing a consistent system of measurement to track security events and information. What's more, this figure represents a 10 percent decline from the previous year.
In some cases, a lack of resources were to blame. But a majority of respondents also owned up to some organizational shortcomings. Two out of every three companies were resorting to a brand of "reactive triage" or had a complete absence of internal coordination when it came to tracking, interpreting and responding to security intelligence. In fact, just 5 percent felt they had a consistent and adequately staffed process improvement framework in place.
"Given the responses highlighting the need for better data access, and revealing inconsistent measurement and process improvements, this year's respondents appear to be much more honest, realistic and self-aware," Sensage CEO Joe Gottlieb explained. "This is a significant change compared to previous years, as professionals are becoming much more vocal about their dissatisfaction with traditional security practices' inability to provide the intelligence necessary to counter evolving threats and address organizations' changing requirements."
As data protection becomes a priority at all levels of the organization, the task assigned to business executives extends far beyond simply authorizing software investments. As the Sensage study suggested, IT teams are expressing a clear need for assistance in tackling logistical issues and flattening communication barriers.
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro