Top 3 Internet Security Myths
- By Vann Abernethy
- Oct 07, 2013
There is quite a bit of misinformation out there around Internet security, and it’s driven by a culture of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Though cyber threats are real and can strike anyone, anytime or anywhere, you can implement solid security by taking a methodical approach and identifying the right tools to meet your needs. A good place to start is by dispelling the more common myths security professionals encounter.
Myth 1: My defenses are already impenetrable.
You could have the newest, flashiest tool, every encryption and protection known to man, and a security policy that reads like “War and Peace,” and you still won’t be 100 percent protected.
The reality is that there is no silver-bullet solution to protect you from everyone; a determined attacker will eventually get in. Accept that fact and focus on detection and real-time mitigation instead of a prevention-only strategy. Develop suitable standards for every use case. This will allow you to loosen or tighten controls as dictated by the business, rather than applying an across-the-board policy.
Myth 2: We spend enough on security.
How do you know that enough is really enough? Gartner data shows that only 5 percent of IT spending goes toward security. That means just 5 percent of one department’s budget is responsible for the ultimate protection of every asset the business has: customer and employee data, intellectual property, revenue sources, B2B interfaces, supply chain, workflow, etc. Anything that you use to do business is a potential target.
Once this scope is understood, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can start aligning risk and opportunity. This will give you a good indication on the value of your IT spending and where it should be allotted; the amount will be evident. No two companies will be the same.
Myth 3: We won’t get attacked.
This is more plain stubbornness than a myth. The “it-only-happens-to-other-people” defense won’t really help you when you’re facing an advanced persistent threat. You lock your car doors after you park however unlikely it is that the vehicle will be stolen, so why wouldn’t you do more than the bare minimum to protect your business’ most vital assets?
To take an honest look at your security risks, you must adopt the mindset that you are a potential target in order to develop a no-nonsense statement of risk and build a classification framework to force the business, as a whole, to confront all security requirements.
Any company that does a true analysis will be able to develop policies and deploy defenses that provide the best protection possible. There is no bulletproof solution, but you will have a much greater handle on which threats are most serious for your company, enabling you to set up analytics and monitoring processes to identify breaches quicker.
It isn't about just buying the latest gadget; it’s about adopting a security mindset that furthers the goal to make sales without being a burden on the business.
Vann Abernethy is the senior product manager for NSFOCUS, where he is responsible for product planning and program execution for multiple security offerings.