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Cybersecurity confidence gets a C- . How to improve your grade in 2017

Stacy Collett | Dec. 22, 2016
According to this year’s data, global cybersecurity confidence fell six points over 2016 to earn an overall score of 70 percent.

“We’re going to be more challenged with making sure that we’re able to be quick and agile when and if an attacks occurs,” Moskites says. “With all the craziness going on in the world, it’s making all of us have to stay on our toes.”

Despite all of the collective knowledge, the law enforcement intelligence and all the technology available, are security teams destined to remain slightly below average when it comes to detecting breaches before they happen or stopping them before they cause more damage?

“For the record, you can stop these guys,” says Tony Robinson, CISO at Pioneer Technology. While serving as CISO for a government contractor, he successfully stopped attacks by Chinese hackers. “It can be done against the best of them, but it takes a team, training and experience” in addition to tools, he says.

Build your cybersecurity confidence

No cybersecurity program can thrive without adequate funding and support from top executives. “It doesn’t have to be outrageous funding, but enough so that you can field a team and be able to train your team so you can build out and manage a security suite that can do continuous monitoring, scanning and remediation -- whether in the cloud, on connected devices or on premise,” Hayslip says. “Your perimeter now is everywhere – tablets, smartphones, PCs and laptops, and it moves with your staff and your people.”

Beyond those basics, CISOs and cybersecurity pros share how they’ve improved cybersecurity confidence.

Know what you're protecting

Though BYOD and shadow IT are a challenge, having an inventory of everything that you’re protecting will increase cybersecurity confidence, Moskites says. “I’m significantly more optimistic than I was a year ago now that we have a grasp on our baseline,” she says. “We have an inventory of all of our assets -- our server environment, our desktops and laptops and everything that’s accessing our network. I know what we’re securing and protecting in my environment.”

Don’t go it alone

The adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” applies to cybersecurity now more than ever. A PwC survey found that 55 percent of respondents collaborate with external partners to improve security and reduce risks. What’s more, half of those that did collaborate felt they shared and received more actionable information from industry peers.

“Collaboration and information sharing can allow organizations to gain actionable visibility into their most relevant risks, understand the motives and tactics of adversaries and shed light on the most effective response methods,” says Chris O'Hara, PwC’s U.S. co-leader for cybersecurity and privacy.

For large organizations, federal law enforcement can also make valuable partners. When Robinson steps into a CISO role, one of his first tasks is to contact the local FBI office to establish a dialog and gather what intelligence they can share.


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