Security professionals’ overconfidence in security tools leads to data breaches, vulnerabilities and wasted time and money
Security professionals are overconfident in their tools with 50% of respondents reporting that they have experienced a security breach because one or more of their security products was not working as expected, according to Keysight Technologies’ survey, titled Security Operations Effectiveness.
Keysight commissioned Dimensional Research to conduct the survey in November 2019. A total of 307 participants that strategize, architect, manage and operate enterprise security solutions completed the survey. Participants were from all five continents. They represented large (48%), medium (41%), and small (11%) organizations across a wide variety of industries.
The Security Operations Effectiveness survey found that just over half (57%) of security professionals were confident their current security solutions are working as intended. Yet only 35% of survey respondents stated that they conduct testing to ensure their security products are configured and operating as they expect. To close this gap, 86% of respondents see strong value in security test solutions that can actively test their company’s security products and posture, using both internal and external attack vectors.
“Enterprises are faced with a continuous stream of cyberattacks that threaten their businesses, and in many cases they attempt to deal with these by buying more security tools. Yet they don’t know whether these products are delivering the protection they expect,” said Scott Register, vice president, security solutions at Keysight’s Network Applications & Security Group (formerly Ixia Solutions Group). “The disconnect is when good security tools are misconfigured or security teams lack the skills to use their tools. This situation leads to overspending on overlapping tools and compromises an organization’s security posture. Ongoing testing of security solutions would give organizations the proof and confidence that they are protected, but also would provide the opportunity to save resources.”
Key findings from the Security Operations Effectiveness survey include:
- Organizations are breached often: 75% of respondents said their company had experienced a security breach (unauthorized intrusion, malware, hack etc), and 47% have experienced three or more breaches in the last three years.
- Good security tools don’t always protect as expected: 50% of survey respondents stated they found a security solution was not working as expected after a breach had occurred.
- Most organizations don’t verify their security is working as it should: Only 35% of respondents have test-based evidence to prove their security products are configured and working correctly.
- Less than half of organizations practice breach responses: 49% of respondents stated they actively practice how to remediate and respond to security incidents.
- Overlapping security product functions waste budgets and time: 66% of companies are using security solutions whose functions overlap, and for 41% of respondents this overlap is unintentional, wasting security budgets and management time without strengthening the organization’s security posture.
- The value of security testing: 86% of respondents stated they would value a solution that finds and helps to remediate vulnerabilities in a company’s security posture. 79% of those surveyed would remove a security product from their infrastructure if they could prove it wasn’t effective.
Security professionals are faced with a flood of cyberattacks. They are aware of the threats and vulnerabilities to their organizations, but they cope with this by throwing security solutions or tools at the problem with overconfidence that these tools perform as expected. Ongoing security testing of their solutions’ configurations and operation would provide security professionals with confidence and proof that their security solutions effectively protect their organizations while providing opportunities to save resources.