José Lázaro Pinos is a Security Solutions Expert at Microsoft and a headline speaker at the 2023 ITC Cyber Summit.
In this blog, José shares his insights on the current challenges faced by CISOs, how Microsoft Security Solutions can help you do more with less and why accredited Microsoft Solutions Partners like ITC can help you make the most of your cyber security investments.
The threat landscape is rapidly changing with new actors in play and a complex ecosystem that has turned the cyber crime economy into an industry. Attackers are no longer just criminals with financial motivations, but the world is now seeing nation states actively pursuing cyber aggression as a military tool to inflict damage on enemies.
Cyber mercenaries are threatening the stability of cyber space by developing and selling advanced tools, techniques, and services to enable clients— often comprising governments—to break into networks and devices. Increasingly, critical infrastructures, particularly the IT sector, financial services, transportation systems, and communications infrastructure, are becoming the target of these attacks.
Worse, nation state attackers are employing novel ways of exploiting IT supply chain as a gateway to access targets. Case in point is the SolarWinds cyber attack by the Nobelium group that gained access by inserting a malicious code into the Orion network management system, which in turn is used by numerous government agencies and global companies.
CISOs struggle in the face of digital threats
Globally, CISOs are under increasing pressure to deliver more for less. In the face of new challenges boards are pushing back with tough questions to understand what they have achieved after years of heavy investment.
In 2022 64% of CISOs were under pressure to reduce costs which is expected to increase to 73% in 2023. This is because conventional security tools have not kept pace with the evolution of new security challenges, even as the cost of breach is rising phenomenally. Companies have to pay a fortune for ransomware attacks, without any guarantee of retrieving the data. Not to mention the damage to business and reputation after such an attack.
CISOs are also struggling with a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals. The global cybersecurity workforce gap has increased by 26.2% in 2022 requiring 3.4 million more workers to secure assets effectively.
The Microsoft Digital Defence Report 2022 finds that 98% of basic security hygiene still protects against 98% of attacks. This includes enforcing multi-factor authentication, implementing Zero Trust principles, adopting modern anti-malware and putting in place strong data protection strategies.
The annual cyber security and threat intelligence report analyses over 43 trillion daily security signals and includes contributions from research teams and security groups from 77 countries. The report states that the volume of password attacks has risen to an estimated 921 attacks every second, which is a 74% increase in one year. Microsoft has removed more than 10,000 domains used by cyber criminals and 600 by nation state actors; blocked 37 billion email threats and 34.7 billion identity threats. A key takeaway from the annual report is that 93% of ransomware incident response engagements revealed insufficient controls on privilege access and lateral movement.
Integrating business, security and IT for greater resilience
Traditionally IT, security and business teams have been working in silos and security teams have been challenged with organisational culture, ensuring compliance, dealing with legacy systems and gaps in security due to technical debts.
Organisations can significantly enhance their security posture by aligning business and security teams to achieve shared security goals. This requires solid backing by the top leadership wherein security is embedded into the fabric of the organisation with security by design principles, processes are aligned to achieve security goals and business teams become stakeholders in risk mitigation.
Specifically, this entails leadership sponsorship to prioritise updates and patches regularly, allocate budgets, schedule downtime and acquire support from product vendors. Security leaders and business teams must identify business-critical assets and integrate business continuity and disaster recovery exercises due to cyber attack disruptions with existing processes.
As opposed to assigning security risk accountability to the security team, business owners must be educated and take responsibility, while security teams focus on building strong defences and managing that risk.
Security simplified with Microsoft and ITC Secure
One of the challenges CISOs are faced with is the multitude of point-solutions to address specific security issues. In addition to interoperability, it creates lack of visibility and operational complexity. Organisations can simplify security management with Microsoft solutions which can replace up to 50 product categories.
According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study, Microsoft Defender for Cloud can accrue 30% savings by unifying Cloud security tools, while Microsoft SIEM and XDR reduces risk of breach by 60% and takes 88% less time in responding to threats.
Accredited Microsoft Solutions Partners like ITC Secure help organisations identify security, process gaps and fix them. More importantly, external partners can provide 24×7 monitoring services to detect anomalous behaviour to identify and proactively mitigate risks.
Given the scarcity of talent and time required to build in-house capabilities, experts like ITC Secure play a crucial role in threat prevention and risk mitigation. There is no time to ramp up—the time to get to the trenches and strengthen the fortress is now.
To watch José’s full session at the 2023 ITC Cyber Summit, visit the 2023 ITC Cyber Summit on-demand page or to find out how to get started on your Microsoft journey with ITC visit here.