It is imperative that organisations are aware of the capabilities of the individual security controls employed in tackling a multitude of threats in our fast evolving cyber security landscape.
This is particularly so as the industry is transitioning to cloud-based workloads, said Eric Hoh, President of Asia Pacific at FireEye at the recent GovWare Focus 2020 event in Singapore. If the security considerations are not properly assessed, this move could result in organisations facing increased exposure to risks.
Hoh shared that 25 per cent of the breaches that FireEye’s consultants tended to over the past year concerned the public cloud. According to Hoh, “Attackers are following the data.”
Governments in particular are more prone to cyber threats. “Recently, there have been a lot of governments in the region that have been attacked, and their information has been compromised,” said Hoh. In addition to the ransomware and phishing scams that organisations deal with, governments are also more likely to face state-backed espionage.
With governments undergoing digital transformation, they will have to prepare themselves for the increased possibilities of cyber attacks. Hoh acknowledges that it can be difficult for governments to ascertain the returns of their security investments in protecting their citizens’ data.
Hoh also spoke about the importance of testing and the effectiveness of the cyber defenses employed by organisations.
“They assume that their security controls will always work as well as when they were initially deployed, regardless of the changing attacker tactics and irrespective of their own changing environment,” he added.
Hoh also spoke about the importance of testing the effectiveness of the cyber defenses employed by organisations. To circumvent the possible array of cyber threats, being aware of an organisation’s security effectiveness is key to sussing out identify misconfigurations.
Testing of the security effectiveness can be done by hiring professional teams to try and break through the organisation’s defenses every three to six months, Hoh explained. These teams are expected to test the limits of the cyber security tools deployed to determine how effective they would be in a worst case scenario.
Once these tests are conducted, organisations would see to what extent their security controls work. Hoh advised that they shouldn’t be discouraged. “Once you have that awareness, you now have the opportunity to tune that control to be much more effective, thereby maximising the value of your existing security investments”, he said.