Over-stretched IT security pros spend more time fire-fighting than doing meaningful security work
A study carried out by security management vendor FireMon at this month’s Infosecurity Europe in London has given brutally honest insight into the immense pressure cyber security professionals are under to carry out their jobs and meet outside regulations. A staggering 28% admitted to cheating on an audit just to pass, a figure that is up 6% from five years ago when the same question was posed. This is likely due to growing network complexity and all of the disparate technology, security and otherwise, used to keep cyber criminals at bay.
When asked if they felt that they spend most of their day fire-fighting rather than doing meaningful security work, 51% of the IT security professionals surveyed agreed. A further 56% admitted they had added a product purely to meet compliance regulations, even though they knew it offered no other business benefit.
“The purpose of this survey was to find out how IT security professionals were coping with the workload that is involved when it comes to managing network security and dealing with its growing complexity,” said Michael Callahan, CMO, FireMon. “The results are a good reminder about the mounting pressures that are placed on IT security staff from inside as well as outside organisations. From protecting the organisation from data breaches and cybercrime to meeting regulatory compliance, such as the looming GDPR, while at the same time enabling the business – it is not an easy feat.”
When it comes to demands from the business side, 52% of IT security pros admitted to adding access that they know had decreased their organisation’s security posture.
“We hear from potential customers all the time that network complexity is growing and that is to do with the number of ‘solutions’ organisations are putting into place to try and solve the cyber security puzzle and meet business demands. In reality, more technology is rarely the answer – instead, good management is the key,” Callahan explained. “FireMon Security Manager reduces this complexity and brings together every aspect of the network such as policy and change management, regulatory compliance, risk related to access, security analytics and incident response.”
FireMon recommends its top tips for becoming a more efficient IT security manager:
- Get Visibility – IT security managers can’t manage what they don’t know is there. Having detailed visibility into firewall rules and policy effectiveness allows organizations to clean up outdated or redundant rules and close security gaps, lowering overall firewall complexity and level of risk.
- Get Intelligence – By taking into account knowledge of the vulnerabilities in the networked environment on well-known threat entry points and combining it with real-time monitoring and vulnerability mapping, the security team has the situational awareness it needs to identify and remediate problematic issues before they evolve.
- Integrate – Exchange of information between disparate systems cannot be underestimated. The ability to share security information in real time without restricting it to a single application, system or device can empower managers to make decisions.
- Automate– Change workflow automation can help security teams to assess the impact of any new access being provided and restrict or vet it against the corporate security policy to ensure it does not break compliance or introduce unacceptable risk.