The Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, now in its 11th year, reveals an increased dependence on automation, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect potential cyber attacks..
Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report
The Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) report looks at the trending techniques being used by attackers and defenders with the goal of helping organizations better defend themselves. The report includes comprehensive security industry data, analysis and insights into what attackers were up to over the past year. And the Cisco 2018 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, which is part of the report, delivers the insights of more than 3,600 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and security industry leaders from 26 countries regarding their security position.
For small businesses, who are now facing the biggest cybersecurity risks, it means being proactive in protecting your digital presence. This is especially important as you conduct more transactions online and have the personal financial data of your customers.
On the Cisco blog, John Stewart writes, “No single strategy, technological solution or approach will solve all of the challenges that our adversaries throw at us. It takes a comprehensive and unified approach across people, process, technology and policy. By making strategic security improvements, employing advanced technologies and industry leading practices, defenders can increase visibility into a miscreant’s actions, slow their progress, and minimize their exposure to risk.”
Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Organizations are using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to overcome the lack of visibility of attackers using encryption. The advanced capabilities of machine learning and AI can enhance network security defenses, with the added benefit of automatically learning to detect unusual patterns in web traffic indicating malicious activity.
As to the level of reliance on AI, 32 percent said they are completely reliant, while another 41 percent indicated some type of reliance, making up a total of 73 percent of the respondents totally or partially reliant on the technology for defense. On the other end of the spectrum, three percent said they don’t rely on AI at all, with the remaining 24 percent showing different levels of lesser reliance on the technology.
The most important recommendation is being prepared. This allows you to react to the attack and with the right recovery system in place, to minimize downtime and loss.
With this in mind, Cisco has taken the best insights and security practices from all those intrviewed to offer the following:
- Implement first-line-of-defense tools that can scale, like cloud security platforms.
- Review and practice security response procedures.
- Back up data regularly and test restoration procedures. Cisco says this is especially important as network-based ransomware worms and destructive cyber weapons are used to attack organizations.
- Review security systems.
- Employ network segmentation to help minimize outbreak exposures.
- Carry out security scanning of microservice, cloud service and application administration systems.
The Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report has 68 pages of extremely valuable information, including recommendations to help your small business make the best informed decision in adopting security solutions.
You can download the full report here.