People Centered Cyber Security Is Now The Third Phase – Chuck Leaver

Written By Kyle Flaherty And Presented By Chuck Leaver Ziften CEO


Cyber attack impact on organizations is typically straightforward to determine, and the vendors of tech services are always showing off various stats to reveal that you need to obtain their newest software (including Ziften). However one fact is really stunning:

In The Previous Year Cyber Criminal Activity Cost Businesses $445 Billion And Cost 350,000 Individuals Their Employment.

The financial losses are simple to take on board despite the fact that the amount is substantial. However the 2nd part is worrying for all involved with cyber security. People are losing their employment because of what is occurring with cyber security. The scenarios surrounding the job losses for all of these individuals is unidentified, and some could have deserved it if they were negligent. But the most interesting feature of this is that it is well known that there is a scarcity of skilled people who have the ability to fight these cyber attacks.

While individuals are losing their jobs there is likewise a demand that more gifted individuals are found to prevent the ever increasing risk of cyber attacks. There is no argument that more individuals are required, and they have to be more gifted, to win this war. However it is not going to take place today, tomorrow or perhaps this year. And while it would be great if a truce could be negotiated with the cyber attackers till these resources are readily available, the truth is that the fight must go on. So how do you combat this?

Utilize Technology To Enable, Not Disable

For several years now vendors of security tech have actually been selling technology to “prevent and obstruct” cyber attacks. Then the vendors would return afterwards to sell the “next generation” solution for preventing and stopping cyber attacks. And then a few years later on they were back once again to sell the most recent technology which focussed on “security analytics”, “threat intelligence” and “operational insight”.

In every scenario companies purchased the current technology and then they needed to add professional services or even a FTE to operate the technology. Of course each time it took a considerable amount of time to become up to speed with the new technology; a group that was struggling with high turnover because of the competitive nature of the cyber market. And while all this was going on the attacks were ending up being more relentless, more advanced, and more regular.

It has to do with Individuals Utilizing Technology, Not The Other Way Around

The problem is that all of the CISO’s were focussed on the technology first. These organizations followed the timeless model of seeing a problem and creating technology that might plug that hole. If you think about a firewall, it literally constructs a wall within technology, using technology. Even the SIEM technology these organizations had implemented was focused mainly on all the different connectors from their system into other systems and collecting all those details into one place. But what they had instead was one place since the technology centric minds had actually forgotten a critical aspect; individuals involved.

Humans are always proficient at innovating when confronted with threat. It’s a biological thing. In cyber security today we are seeing the 3rd phase of development, and it is focused on people:

Phase 1 Prevent by building walls
Phase 2 Detect by constructing walls and moats
Phase 3 View, check, and respond by examining user behavior

The reason that this needs to be centered on people is not just about talent scarcities, but since individuals are truly the issue. People are the cyber attackers and also the ones putting your organization at risk at the endpoint. The technologies that are going to win this battle, or at least enable survival, are the ones that were constructed to not just boost the abilities of the person on the other side of that keyboard, but also focus on the habits of the users themselves, and not just the technologies themselves.



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