Why security alerts could be wasting your time

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Out of  17,000 malware alerts a large company receives each week, around 19 percent are considered reliable, a new survey found.

The survey’s press release explained: “Security teams are unnecessarily consumed by activity that pose no threat to their data security, which can distract them from dealing with threats that can lead to compromise.”

Enterprises spend $1.3 million a year dealing with false positive cyber security alerts, which equals nearly 21,000 hours in wasted time, the U.S. survey added.

Brian Foster, CTO of Damballa (the firm commissioning the report), noted, “These findings confirm not only the sheer scale of the challenge for IT security teams in sifting out the real threats from tens of thousands of false alarms, but also the huge financial impact in terms of time. The severity and frequency of attacks is growing, which means that teams need a way to focus on responding to true positive infections if they are to get a firmer grip on their security posture.”

Additional key findings from the report:

  • Severity of malware Infections has increased: 60 percent of respondents said that the severity of malware infections has significantly increased (16 percent) or increased (44 percent) in the past year.
  • ‘Ad hoc’ response to malware containment: Despite this growth, when asked about their approach to malware containment, a third of organizations revealed that they have an unstructured or “ad hoc” approach to the process. In terms of responsibility, 40 percent of respondents say there is no personnel or function accountable for the containment of malware.
  • Lack of automated response: Only 41 percent of respondents say their organization has automated tools that capture intelligence and evaluate the true threat caused by malware.

 Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons

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