In Forrester’s “Predictions 2020: Cybersecurity” report, we projected that the anti-surveillance economy would grow by 15%. At the time, we didn’t know a story about location data would publish a few weeks after our prediction, but we knew that the conditions existed for something like this to occur. Surveillance is now an enterprise risk. Specifically, The New York Times shares how its reporters were able to obtain the location data of specific individuals from the data set. For security leaders, those individuals could represent an executive, shareholder, employee, or contractor for your firm.
Location data is vital to operational security
Many companies use compartmentalized facilities and technology to isolate teams working on new mission-critical innovation. The projects have code names, special non-disclosure agreements, and strict third-party contracts to ensure that their secrets are kept safe. All those precautions can be rendered useless, however, because of data brokers’ ability to provide competitive insights about your firm based on location data. For example, say a competitor identifies that your executives have meetings with several early-stage startups in a niche category — they could now identify which companies you might be targeting for acquisition based on where your employees are traveling to. Those competitors could determine that you are meeting with a supplier that makes a specific type of technology, which could clue them in that you are developing a new piece of hardware with specific functionality. Back in the film “Wall Street,” this Bud Fox character followed around various individuals; now, he’d just have to buy data. Data can tell you whether “Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.” The surveillance economy – the dark side of the data economy – should vault into your risk register in 2020.
IT and security are clueless to employees’ apps
Anti-surveillance tools are usually first adopted by end-users that are looking to make their jobs easier. For example, many users run pop-up blockers or add-ons that prevent scripts from running on webpages. However, many of these tools are not supported by IT or security despite them being run on corporate devices. The bottom-up approach will not work for enterprises in the surveillance economy. IT and security need to stay on top of this. Mobile devices are also creating issues because they share enriched data about location on top of browser histories, cookies, and IP addresses.
BYOD is not new, but new problems exist
The balance between allowing enterprise data on a mobile device, personal use, and personal ownership of that device is still a balancing act. But as more details on the amount of location data available and the degree to which that data can tie to specific individuals emerge, more complications are added to bring-your-own-device. CISOs need to protect non-corporate-owned devices. Physical security is also a concern, especially as location data intersects with geopolitics and especially when executives or employees with critical knowledge of company initiatives travel abroad to countries where kidnapping or other physical security threats could occur.
Protecting the privacy of your employees helps you secure the enterprise
In 2020, we will continue our anti-surveillance research into the tools, techniques, and procedures that security leaders must adopt in order to protect the privacy and security of their employees. In much the same way that companies now offer their employees identity protection as a benefit or discounted subscriptions to enterprise productivity software, they will need to offer the same to help protect online anonymity and prevent technology-enabled surveillance on their employees. CISOs who do a good job on awareness, behavior, and culture will recognize that savvy users will not only appreciate this but come to expect it in the future. Those that do neither will open their firms to data gathering by competitors and investors at best or attackers with malicious intent at worst.
To learn more predictions from Forrester’s cybersecurity team, download Forrester’s Predictions 2020 guide to understanding the major dynamics that will impact firms next year.
This post was written by VP, Principal Analyst Jeff Pollard and Fatemeh Khatibloo, and Principal Analyst Heidi Shey. It originally appeared here.
The Five Pillars of (Azure) Cloud-based Application Security
This 1-hour webinar from GigaOm brings together experts in Azure cloud application migration and security, featuring GigaOm analyst Jon Collins and special guests from Fortinet, Director of Product Marketing for Public Cloud, Daniel Schrader, and Global Director of Public Cloud Architecture and Engineering, Aidan Walden.
These interesting times have accelerated the drive towards digital transformation, application rationalization, and migration to cloud-based architectures. Enterprise organizations are looking to increase efficiency, but without impacting performance or increasing risk, either from infrastructure resilience or end-user behaviors.
Success requires a combination of best practice and appropriate use of technology, depending on where the organization is on its cloud journey. Elements such as zero-trust access and security-driven networking need to be deployed in parallel with security-first operations, breach prevention and response.
If you are looking to migrate applications to the cloud and want to be sure your approach maximizes delivery whilst minimizing risk, this webinar is for you.
Data Management and Secure Data Storage for the Enterprise
This free 1-hour webinar from GigaOm Research brings together experts in data management and security, featuring GigaOm Analyst Enrico Signoretti and special guest from RackTop Systems, Jonathan Halstuch. The discussion will focus on data storage and how to protect data against cyberattacks.
Most of the recent news coverage and analysis of cyberattacks focus on hackers getting access and control of critical systems. Yet rarely is it mentioned that the most valuable asset for the organizations under attack is the data contained in these systems.
In this webinar, you will learn about the risks and costs of a poor data security management approach, and how to improve your data storage to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a compromised infrastructure.
CISO Podcast: Talking Anti-Phishing Solutions
Simon Gibson earlier this year published the report, “GigaOm Radar for Phishing Prevention and Detection,” which assessed more than a dozen security solutions focused on detecting and mitigating email-borne threats and vulnerabilities. As Gibson noted in his report, email remains a prime vector for attack, reflecting the strategic role it plays in corporate communications.
Earlier this week, Gibson’s report was a featured topic of discussions on David Spark’s popular CISO Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. In it, Spark interviewed a pair of chief information security officers—Mike Johnson, CISO for SalesForce, and James Dolph, CISO for Guidewire Software—to get their take on the role of anti-phishing solutions.
“I want to first give GigaOm some credit here for really pointing out the need to decide what to do with detections,” Johnson said when asked for his thoughts about selecting an anti-phishing tool. “I think a lot of companies charge into a solution for anti-phishing without thinking about what they are going to do when the thing triggers.”
As Johnson noted, the needs and vulnerabilities of a large organization aligned on Microsoft 365 are very different from those of a smaller outfit working with GSuite. A malicious Excel macro-laden file, for example, poses a credible threat to a Microsoft shop and therefore argues for a detonation solution to detect and neutralize malicious payloads before they can spread and morph. On the other hand, a smaller company is more exposed to business email compromise (BEC) attacks, since spending authority is often spread among many employees in these businesses.
Gibson’s radar report describes both in-line and out-of-band solutions, but Johnson said cloud-aligned infrastructures argue against traditional in-line schemes.
“If you put an in-line solution in front of [Microsoft] 365 or in front of GSuite, you are likely decreasing your reliability, because you’ve now introduced this single point of failure. Google and Microsoft have this massive amount of reliability that is built in,” Johnson said.
So how should IT decision makers go about selecting an anti-phishing solution? Dolph answered that question with a series of questions of his own:
“Does it nail the basics? Does it fit with the technologies we have in place? And then secondarily, is it reliable, is it tunable, is it manageable?” he asked. “Because it can add a lot overhead, especially if you have a small team if these tools are really disruptive to the email flow.”
Dolph concluded by noting that it’s important for solutions to provide insight that can help organizations target their protections, as well as support both training and awareness around threats. Finally, he urged organizations to consider how they can measure the effectiveness of solutions.
“I may look at other solutions in the future and how do I compare those solutions to the benchmark of what we have in place?”
Listen to the Podcast: CISO Podcast
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