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Reducing risk with automatic vulnerability management

Skybox Security : 08 October, 2009  (Technical Article)
Skybox and BT recently presented the advantages of automatic risk analysis and vulnerability management at the London Security Risk and Compliance forum
Enterprises that do not have automated methods for finding network vulnerabilities and tracking risks are gambling with their corporate data and reputation. This was a key message from the recent Security Risk & Compliance Forum in London, organised by Skybox Security and BT.

The Forum brought together 40 senior IT and infosecurity staff from leading companies, to discuss the issues of risk and compliance management in complex, decentralized networks.

It also highlighted the scale of the challenges faced by IT staff, with 75% reporting significant growth in their networks in the past year. A majority (63%) said they used automated solutions for identifying risk and compliance issues, and vulnerabilities in their network.

When asked to name the single IT risk or compliance issue that kept them awake at night, 44% named identity and access management. 38% expressed concerns about board-level interference with security policy decisions, and 18% said cutting risks of data leaks and losses was the issue that concerned them the most.

The event featured three keynote speakers: Stephen Bonner, global head of information Risk Management for Barclays Group; Ray Stanton, global head of business continuity, security and governance requirements for BT, and Gidi Cohen, CEO and founder of Skybox Security

Gidi Cohen warned that periodic audits and checks on security systems are no longer enough to ensure effective risk mitigation and policy compliance. "Every change, every update to systems affects an organisation's compliance status. Manual audits and checks take too long and can leave systems dangerously vulnerable to exploits. Automation reduces the window of exposure, and helps to ensure risks are managed and compliance is maintained."

Ray Stanton used his presentation to show how organisations that manage risks effectively are better positioned to respond to and remedy adverse events, helping to protect their brand's reputation and control costs. He used the example of Credit Suisse, which deployed Skybox's Risk Management solution to automate risk assessments, performing these daily instead of semi-annually. This gave Credit Suisse a full ROI within one year and a 300% ROI in three years.

Stephen Bonner made the point that organisations can either approach compliance as a checklist of controls to satisfy auditors without managing or reducing risks, or they can use compliance methodology and Risk Management tools to improve their security and compliance stance and cut costs.

Skybox recently announced the availability of Skybox View 4.5, which helps enterprises accurately pinpoint and prioritise areas of high risk and predict compliance exposures in just minutes. The unique combination of automation and advanced analytics enables enterprises to proactively visualise and eliminate IT security gaps and threats before they can be exploited. With Skybox View organisations can continuously and intelligently protect their irreplaceable brand while saving time and money.

Through automation and advanced analytics, security can be improved, security controls can be optimised and return-on-investment (ROI) can be achieved in a matter of months. Customers report dramatic results after implementing Skybox solutions:

- Reduction of IT risk exposure window by up to 90%
- Reduction of security compliance costs by as much as 85%
- Optimisation of manual processes - time and labour savings of up to 80%-90%
- Reduction of firewall compliance audit process to just minutes - as much as a 75 per cent time and labour savings
- Verification of control effectiveness - despite complexity and constant change
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