Cisco CISO Survey: Security Vendor Consolidation Increasing
Security professionals are leaning more toward vendor consolidation, collaboration between networking and security teams, and security awareness exercises to strengthen their organizations’ security and reduce the risk of breaches.
That’s according to Cisco’s fifth annual 2019 Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Benchmark Study. It surveyed more than 3,200 CISOs and other security decision-makers from 18 countries globally.
Ben Munroe, director of Cisco Security, tells us many key findings of the study support MSSPs and those partners looking to help end users by assuming more security responsibility for them. The findings validate the MSSP business model, he said.
“For example, end users are overwhelmed with alert management, remediating only [approximately 51] percent of legitimate alerts (down from 55 percent last year) and this shows that there could be the need to offload more to a managed provider,” he said. “This is especially true when you consider that 79 percent of customers told us that they were overwhelmed trying to orchestrate a response from their multivendor environment, up from 74 percent last year. They have built complex, best-of-breed security architectures that don’t share context, event, policy and threat data, and they need help making sense of the capabilities they have purchased in the past, in light of the current threat landscape.”
Second, customers are trying to move toward measuring time to remediate (48 percent versus 30 percent percent last year) and this can require a modern security operations center (SOC) with sophisticated detection, containment and remediation tools and processes, Munroe said.
“Finally, there is a need to help CISOs report on security effectiveness and business value,” he said. “Ninety-eight percent of respondents operate with clearly understood executive measurements, and so being able to demonstrate the incremental value of security, to the board, in a way that balances the investment in control with an assumption of risk and additional measures like cyber insurance will help CISOs build investment cases and demonstrate value. These are all key areas in which an MSSP could support their customer base to solve problems highlighted by our 2019 CISO Benchmark Study.”
Many CISOs are increasingly confident that migrating to the cloud will improve protection efforts, while apparently decreasing reliance on less proven technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), according to the study.
Complex security environments made up of solutions from 10 or more security vendors could be hampering security professionals’ visibility across their environments, according to the report. Some 65 percent of respondents have difficulty determining the scope of a compromise, containing it and remediating from exploits. The unknown threats that exist outside the enterprise in the form of users, data, devices and apps also is a top concern for CISOs.
“The trend away from point products continues,” Munroe said. “In 2018, 54 percent of respondents cited 10 or fewer vendors in their environment; in 2019, this has risen to 63 percent. This is one of the bigger jumps in the report year-on-year — more respondents with fewer vendors.”
To help address challenges and better protect their organizations, of those surveyed:
- Forty-four percent have increased investment in security defense technologies.
- Thirty-nine percent have security awareness training among employees.
- Thirty-nine percent focused on implementing risk mitigation techniques.
Survey respondents also noted the continued high financial impact of breaches. Some 45 percent said the financial impact of a breach to their organization was more than $500,000; however, more than 50 percent are driving breach costs below $500,000.
But there remains a stubborn 8 percent claiming a cost of more than …