The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016


By now, the numbers have become numbing. Cybersecurity incidents are daily news, with reports of escalating impacts and costs that are sometimes measured in the billions. Take a look beyond the headlines, however, and you’ll find new reasons for optimism.

The rewards of risk-based frameworks

The vast majority of organisations—91 %—have adopted a security framework or, more often, an amalgam of frameworks.

The most frequently followed guidelines are ISO 27001, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and SANS Critical Controls. Respondents say adoption of these types of guidelines enable them to identify and prioritise threats, quickly detect and mitigate risks and understand security gaps.

A risk-based framework allows companies to better communicate and collaborate on cybersecurity efforts, internally and externally. These frameworks also can help businesses design, monitor and measure goals toward an improved cybersecurity programme. And many say that risk-based standards have helped ensure that sensitive data is more secure.

Harnessing the power of cloud-enabled cybersecurity

Cloud computing has emerged as a sophisticated cybersecurity tool in recent years as providers have steadily invested in advanced technologies for data protection, privacy, network security, and identity and access management. Many also have added infrastructure capabilities that enable them to improve intelligence gathering and threat modelling, better block attacks and accelerate incident response.

It’s no wonder, then, that 69 % of survey respondents said they use cloud-based cybersecurity services to help protect sensitive data and ensure privacy. And they entrust a broadening range of critical services to the cloud, including real-time monitoring and analytics, advanced authentication, and identity and access management.

The big impact of Big Data

Big Data is getting bigger. This year, 59% of respondents leverage Big Data analytics to model and monitor for cybersecurity threats, respond to incidents, and audit and review data to understand how it is used, by whom and when.

A data-driven approach can shift cybersecurity away from perimeter-based defences and enable organisations to put real-time information to use in ways that can help predict cybersecurity incidents. Data-driven cybersecurity allows companies to better understand anomalous network activity and more quickly identify and respond to cybersecurity incidents.

Some businesses are combining Big Data with existing security information and event management (SIEM) technologies to generate a more extensive view of network activity. Others are exploring the use of data analytics for identity and access management to monitor employee usage patterns, flag outliers and identify improper access.

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Credit: Pwc