Perception or Reality: Your Security System Is Probably Weaker Than You Think

Sue Marquette Poremba

How confident are you about your cybersecurity operations? If you are like the vast majority of respondents in Arctic Wolf Networks’ recent survey, you are highly confident in your cybersecurity defenses.

However, the perception of cybersecurity operations doesn’t match the reality for these mid-market companies. While 95 percent of the respondents think their security posture is well above average and 89 percent think their security systems are combatting attacks, large majorities also admit that they aren’t able to stop certain types of threats and they are so overwhelmed with the breadth of overall IT that security isn’t given the attention it deserves. In a formal statement, Brian NeSmith, CEO of Arctic Wolf Networks, said:

Most mid-market enterprises believe they are safe because they have the traditional perimeter defenses in place. This falls far short of what’s needed for rigorous security in today’s complex threat environment. The challenge smaller enterprises face is that they have all the same security issues as large enterprises with only a fraction of the budget and less specialized personnel.

Recently, I asked if you were spending your security budget wisely. This study seems to go hand-in-hand with that question. If you are spending your security dollars on once-effective security tools, like those that focus on the perimeter, you may think you have a solid security defense because it used to work well. It’s focusing on the perception, rather than the reality.


And this leads to setting up the organization for a security system that has increased risk for lost data or vulnerabilities in the network. For example, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Varonis Systems found that while three-quarters of respondents believe their data security strategy is mature, more than one in 10 admit they face significant challenges in protecting that data. This comes at a time when malicious activity against smaller companies is on the rise. Cybercriminals know that the data in small and mid-size businesses is just as valuable as the data found in large corporations, but is a lot easier to get.

As Jimmy Mortimer at Vanson Bourne, which partnered with Arctic Wolf Networks for the survey, stated in a release, focusing on perception can be dangerous to your organization’s data and infrastructure:

The perception does not match the reality of mid-market enterprise security, meaning that these companies are much more vulnerable to cyberattacks than they realize.

Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom's Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba

 


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