Adarma has published a report titled ‘A False Sense of Cybersecurity: How Feeling Safe Can Sabotage Your Business’. The report examines critical aspects of security operations like confidence levels, ‘tool sprawl’, the use of artificial intelligence and the productivity and well-being of security teams.
Based on a survey of 500 cyber security professionals from UK organizations with over 2000 employees, Adarma found that 95% of UK enterprises are ‘very confident’ (53%) or ‘somewhat confident’ (42%) that they do not have gaps in their security controls coverage. Yet, two-thirds (68%) have fallen victim to a cyber attack in the last two years.
One possible reason for this disconnect could be the belief that having more security tools leads to better protection for the organization. The research indicated that confidence levels tended to rise alongside the number of security tools used, as did the chances of experiencing a security breach.
Commenting on the report, Scott McElney, CISO of the Weir Group, cautioned against the assumption that more tooling leads to enhanced security, noting that: “Adding more tools may increase risk due to the complexities involved in managing them and the requisite skills needed to configure and optimise them.”
The UK government’s 2023 cyber security sectoral analysis reveals that there are currently 1,979 firms offering cyber security products and services in the country. However, 61% of respondents find this fragmented technology landscape hinders their ability to improve their security capabilities and performance. As a result, 80% are currently consolidating their security technology or plan to do so, and an additional 18% acknowledge the need to reduce their tooling.
Organizations encounter various difficulties when attempting to consolidate their technology stack. According to the survey, 45% struggle with implementation due to its complexity and the need for expertise. Another 43% mention the difficulty in optimising and utilising technology to its fullest potential. Additionally, 40% express concern about becoming dependent on a single vendor.
Adarma recommends that organizations adopt a comprehensive approach to security by considering the complete security technology lifecycle, as well as the required individuals and procedures for integration, configuration, and optimisation. Sufficient resources and capabilities should be assigned to effectively manage security tools.
Additionally, prioritising the consolidation of the security stack can improve efficiency and visibility. However, Adarma warns organizations should proceed cautiously by defining desired business outcomes and having an independent security architect lead the consolidation project.
Security leaders must trust both people and technology, acknowledge gaps in controls, and avoid overconfidence in security.