In today's IT landscape, enterprises collect, manage and analyze more critical data than ever across a wide range of devices, networks, clouds and servers. With the volume and importance of data increasing, it has become imperative for businesses to develop detailed security strategies to combat the growing threat of cybercrime.
Despite expanding awareness among IT professionals of data security threats and best practices, many companies believe hackers and other cybercriminals are advancing too fast for them to keep up. According to a recent Norman ASA survey, 62 percent of IT leaders think malware is growing more sophisticated faster than they can improve their security analysis capabilities, a significant development considering malware attacks are a leading cause of data loss.
"It is widely recognized that the volume and sophistication of threats continues to grow dramatically, yet many organizations are only incrementally adding resources to better understand these threats," said Darin Andersen, vice president and general manager, North America for Norman. "Analysis is a critical component of a comprehensive defense-in-depth strategy. Failure to maintain an updated understanding of these threats will leave networks increasingly vulnerable."
Furthermore, the study revealed 58 percent of IT professionals view the increasing number of threats as their top concern this year, while more than half of respondents said they expect the number of malware threats to grow by more than 25 percent. Additionally, only 17 percent of respondents said they catch all malware targeted at their organizations, indicating many of them lack sufficient data protection technology and resources.
With experts and IT departments projecting a rise in malware sophistication and volume, most enterprises are searching for low-cost, efficient ways to improve security. Still, this can be a complicated task as companies have an abundance of different options, and implementing a new system requires knowledgeable staff and considerable IT resources. According to the Norman survey, 52 percent of respondents expect their organizations to enhance their internal anti-malware solutions with a third-party product this year. Such a move would enable businesses to outsource several security tasks, reducing IT costs and allowing personnel to focus on more business-enhancing procedures.
"IT leaders are falling behind and are turning increasingly to automated commercial solutions to close the gap," Andersen said. "Because it will be difficult for analysis teams to handle the sheer volume of threats, the automated solutions IT teams purchase must feature scalability. The ability to simply add effective new appliances to a network as the number of threats increase will significantly help teams keep up with the growing threat of cyberattacks."
If the Norman report by itself doesn't sound the alarm for IT security teams, numerous other experts and research studies have revealed similar findings. According to a recent study by a security company, the number of unique malware samples reached more than 75 million in 2011, and the number of malicious websites nearly doubled. Adding to the complexity of threats, the report said mobile malware was more active during the fourth quarter of last year than ever before.
Although the task of protecting private business data and customer information in an evolving, high-threat environment may seem insurmountable for some organizations, many technology providers now offer advanced security solutions. These modern, multifaceted systems enable IT departments to detect, identity and analyze malware and other targeted, sophisticated threats in real time. Using state-of-the-art security products can also give companies confidence to adopt beneficial technologies like cloud computing and mobile devices, which experts say carry significant risk if they aren't properly secured.
Data Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro