Global security leaders are losing ground in the race against cybercrime

New research shows 1 in 3 organisations were unable to detect a breach in the last 12 months, with just 25 percent able to respond in real time.

  • 3 weeks ago Posted in

Gigamon has published its 2024 Hybrid Cloud Security Survey, revealing that organisations around the world are still startlingly unprepared for modern, sophisticated cyberthreats. The annual survey of over 1,000 Security and IT leaders across Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, UK, and the USA, shows a decline in detection and response capabilities year-on-year compared to the company’s 2023 Hybrid Cloud Security Report. As hybrid cloud environments grow in complexity and bad actors launch a barrage of unseen attacks, 65 percent of respondents believe that their existing solutions cannot effectively detect breaches.

Security and IT leaders are at a crucial juncture. Some 83 percent of respondents believe that cloud complexity is increasing their cyber risk, and the spectre of AI-powered attacks looms globally. Eight in 10 respondents predict that AI will increase the global ransomware threat. And yet, despite global information security spending projected to reach $215 billion in 2024, only 54 percent of organisations feel “strongly prepared” to respond to unauthorised access in hybrid cloud environments.

Organisations are unprepared for attacks

Survey respondents generally acknowledge weaknesses in their threat detection tools. Just 1 in 4 were able to remediate a live threat in a recent breach - while this rises to 30 percent in Germany, it falls to just one-fifth in Australia and Singapore.

When tooling fails, organisations suffer more serious consequences:

31 percent of organisations only detected a recent breach when they received an extortion threat from the adversary

31 percent became aware only once proprietary information leaked onto the dark web. This is much lower in France and the UK (around 1 in 5) but hits a concerning 42 percent among Australian respondents

25 percent of respondents failed to determine the root of the breach, increasing to one-third of Australian, Singaporean, and US respondents

Critical visibility gaps

Complex hybrid cloud infrastructure contributes to organisations’ lack of control. Despite 85 percent describing cloud security as a boardroom priority, hybrid cloud visibility continues to be an issue.

Three-quarters of respondents agree that East-West (lateral) visibility is more important to cloud security than North-South, yet just 40 percent have visibility into East-West traffic, down from 48 percent in 2023

Lateral visibility is lowest in the UK (30 percent), while almost half report visibility in Australia and Singapore

Encryption poses another serious blind spot: despite researchers suggesting that 93 percent of malware attacks hide in encrypted traffic, a shocking 76 percent of Gigamon respondents currently trust that encrypted traffic is secure

Deep observability is viewed as central to modern IT success

When breaches are missed, tool strategies are firmly in the spotlight. More than 80 percent agree that achieving unified visibility into hybrid cloud infrastructure – delivering network-derived intelligence to log-based security tooling - is key to preventing attacks. Six in 10 believe that greater visibility into all data in motion will empower them to securely deploy AI technology. As a result, 80 percent agree that deep observability is a board-level priority. While Germany shows the lowest board-level awareness at 72 percent, 89 percent of boards in the US are discussing the topic.

“Cyber risk is firmly in the spotlight this year, with governments and boardrooms finally recognising its place at the very top of the business risk register. And yet cybercriminals are evading detection over a third of the time,” commented Mark Jow, EMEA Technical Evangelist at Gigamon. “Today’s MELT- based (Metrics, Events, Logs, and Traces) approaches are no longer enough, as organisations need 360-degree visibility across the hybrid cloud. Whether organisations are fending off AI-powered attacks, integrating AI-powered solutions into hybrid cloud environments, or seeking to establish Zero Trust, deep observability is fundamental to success.”

CISOs bear the brunt

The survey also delves into the insights of 234 CISOs globally. The results highlight that CISOs continue to bear the burden of regulatory and technological pressures, with 59 percent reporting that they would be most empowered by cyber risk becoming a board priority. Some 69 percent report they struggle to detect encrypted threats, compared to 59 percent of the total respondents, and an alarming seven in 10 of CISOs believe their tools aren’t as effective as they could be in detecting breaches. Detection is not their only concern: three-quarters of CISOs report their security teams being overwhelmed by sprawling tool stacks, 11 percent higher than their C-Suite colleagues.

“It is clear for CISOs that organisations’ tool stacks are falling short,” said Chaim Mazal, CSO at Gigamon. Security leaders are under pressure from governments to reduce cyber risk. But without real-time, network-derived intelligence and insights into all data in motion, including East-West and encrypted traffic, bad actors will continue to wreak havoc, now with AI accelerating their efforts.” 

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