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The Value of Visibility in Cybersecurity

Keiichiro Nozaki, Regional Solutions Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, F5 Networks | June 24, 2016
Visibility plays a key role in reducing the impact of threats to businesses. When there is limited or no visibility, companies can make the wrong investments in security infrastructure as well as fail to detect and prevent threats, protect data and enforce robust policy.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Today's businesses reside in a digitised world fraught with danger from all sides, and it is common to find enterprises fighting multiple battles on the cybersecurity front, from detecting and assuaging cyber threats to protecting business and infrastructure perimeter. Gone are the days where worms and malware were the biggest cybersecurity worries and a simple antivirus scan could keep attacks at bay. Today's threat landscape is far more complex, consisting of highly advanced and malicious threats such as DDoS attacks, phishing scams, hacking and MITM attacks.

According to Verizon's 2015 Data Breach Investigation Report, organised crime has become the most frequently seen threat for web application attacks. Cyber attacks are no longer carried out by an individual with hacking skills and an internet connection looking for a quick buck, but by a criminal organisation comprised of highly-skilled people looking to cripple companies while seeking more than just financial gains.

Cost of a data breach

Data has become a highly lucrative commodity, from names, bank details and home addresses to corporate financial data and trade secrets. Any of this data leaking onto the internet, or worse, being sold on the black market, could spell major trouble for individuals and businesses alike. With cyber threats getting more sophisticated and cybercriminals more organised, enterprises will be required to secure their applications wherever they are because access to data is most commonly exposed via applications.

Last year, the average total cost of a data breach rose from US$3.52 million in 2014 to US$3.79 million. Other research indicates that cybercrime will become a US$2.1 trillion problem in four years. Though massive, financial damage can be repaired over time. 46 percent of organisations have suffered damage to their reputations and brand value as a result of data breaches. Such a crippling blow is one that enterprises may not be able to get back up from.

Visibility into security in the app-centric world

Visibility plays a key role in reducing the impact of threats to businesses. When there is limited or no visibility, companies can make the wrong investments in security infrastructure as well as fail to detect and prevent threats, protect data and enforce robust policy.

While there are a slew of products and tools, such as antivirus and firewalls, which claim to keep cyberattacks at bay, these alone are insufficient. There is a need for comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that also actively monitor the network and all traffic and also prevent other forms of cyberattacks such as hacking and malware as well.

Dedicated solutions can be augmented by also having personnel dedicated to keeping an eye on your network and traffic. CISOs and cybersecurity response units are all the rage now, and many enterprises have invested resources to ensure they have staff on payroll responsible for keeping their networks and data safe from cybercriminals. If that is not feasible, they contract specialist cybersecurity vendors who have Security Operations Centres, which are operations dedicated to monitoring network traffic, mitigating attacks and ensuring that they are at the forefront of threat intelligence. 

 

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