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Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report: Cisco Manages to Reduce “Time of Detection” of Threats from 14 to 6 Hours

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Over one-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer and revenue loss of more than 20 percent

Cairo, March 2017:

According to Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) and its Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR) for 2017, over one-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20 percent. The report surveyed nearly 3,000 CSOs in organizations from 13 countries.

The report stated that 90% of these organizations improved threat defense technologies and processes after being exposed to attacks. They did so through separating IT and security functions (38 %), increasing security awareness for employees (38 %), and implementing risk mitigation techniques (37 %), according to the “Security Capabilities Benchmark” study in the report.

Today in its 10th year, the global report highlights challenges and opportunities for security teams to defend themselves and their organizations against the relentless evolution of cybercrime and shifting attack modes. CSOs and major officials cite budget constraints, poor compatibility of systems, and a lack of trained talent as the biggest obstacles that challenge the development of their security situation. Leaders also reveal that their security departments are increasingly facing complex environments, which in turn contribute to increasing the potential gaps that hinder achieving security effectiveness.

ACR shows that criminals are leading a resurgence of “classic” attacks, such as adware and email spam, with the latter at levels that haven’t been seen since 2010. The report showed that SPAM accounted for nearly two-thirds (65 %) of email with 8 to 10 % cited as malicious. It also reported that the global spam volume is increasing, rapidly spreading through large and prosperous botnets.

Engineer Yasser Moussa, CEO of Technology in Cisco international for Africa region, comments on this report “the risks that institutions and bodies whether private or governmental are exposed to drive everyone to think about the size of these threats and arm with security and technical tools trying to repel any attack that might be hidden way of big threats, which causes heavy losses to the companies and the institutions”.

He added, “Cisco tracks progress in reducing “time to detection” (TTD), through reducing the time between a compromise and the detection of a threat”. “Faster time to detection is critical. Cisco has successfully lowered the TTD from a median of 14 hours in early 2016 to as low as six hours in the last half of the year. This figure is based on opt-in telemetry gathered from Cisco security products deployed worldwide.”

In addition, increasing digital traffic creates a wider space for attacks in the light of the indicators which confirm the increasing rates of global data transfer to three times by 2020. Moreover, 66% of data transfer rate will be through Wireless Networks and Wi-Fi and mobile devices. 

The Business Cost of Cyber Threats: Lost Customers, Lost Revenue

The 2017 ACR revealed the potential financial impact of attacks on businesses, from enterprises to SMEs. More than 50 percent of organizations faced public scrutiny after a security breach. Operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention. For organizations that experienced an attack, the effect was substantial.

Secure the Business, Maintain Vigilance

The 2017 ACR reported that just 56 percent of security alerts are investigated and less than half of legitimate alerts remediated. Defenders – while confident in their tools – battle complexity and manpower challenges, leaving gaps of time and space for attackers to utilize to their advantage. Cisco advises on following these steps to prevent, detect, and mitigate threats and minimize risk.

  • In 2007, the ACR reported web and business applications were targets, often via social engineering, or user-introduced infractions. In 2017, hackers attack cloud-based applications, and spam has escalated.
  • Ten years ago, malware attacks were on the rise, with organized crime profiting from them. In today’s shadow economy, thieves now run cybercrime as a business, offering low barrier-to-entry options to potential customers. Today perpetrators can be anyone, anywhere; they don’t require a security background and can easily purchase “off-the-shelf” exploit kits.

Editor’s Note:
Cisco welcomes analysts, bloggers, media, regulators, service providers and other interested parties to use Cisco’s research with proper attribution: “Source: Cisco Global Cloud Index.”

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