Why cyber security needs a new approach

By Scott Zoldi, Vice President of analytic science, FICO

Cyber criminals are consistently foiling defences at top companies and public organisations, as well as smaller firms. It’s clear that today’s cyber security solutions are no longer enough — but why?

○ A change in approach is needed in cybersecurity to proactively prevent attacks, in real time.

○ Behavioral Analytics provide organizations with real-time identification of anomalies.

○ Analytics can be used effectively across organizations of all sizes and sophistication.

A rash of high-profile data breaches at retailers, healthcare providers, banks, utilities and government agencies has put cyber security at the top of the agenda, not just for information security officers and risk officers but for CEOs and, of course, consumers. It has become clear that the current approaches are not sufficient.

“Today, your credit card is better protected than your organisation,” says Scott Zoldi, vice president of analytic science at the global analytics software firm FICO.

The current approach of gathering data on a compromise, developing a threat’s “signature” and then using that signature to protect against that same threat in the future, results in massive time delays. A recent report by Verizon shows that while 54 per cent of data breaches are not discovered for months, in 60 per cent of breaches data is stolen within hours.

In cyber security, self-learning analytics and anomaly detection techniques have the potential to be a game changer. These analytics can monitor activity across multiple network assets and real-time data streams in order to identify threats as they occur. These analytics immediately detect behavioral anomalies in network traffic and data flows, while also quickly recognising new “normal” activity, thus minimising false positives. This technology is not just for the world’s biggest firms. In fact, it may be even more important for smaller firms.

“A data breach for a small business can be devastating,” Zoldi says. “It’s estimated that about half of small companies are out of business within six months of a cyber breach. What’s more, more than 80 per cent of breaches are estimated to occur at small merchants.”

“Securing a business today with a very small budget is challenging,” Zoldi notes. “But ignoring cyber security — or relying on current approaches that seem ‘good enough’ — is no longer an option.”

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