Businesses are investing in more advanced endpoint security tools but don’t have the means to properly implement and use them, according to a new report from the SANS Institute.
The SANS 2018 Survey on Endpoint Protection and Response polled 277 IT professionals on endpoint security concerns and practices. In this year’s survey, 42% of respondents reported endpoint exploits, down from 53% in 2017. However, the number of those who didn’t know they had been breached jumped from 10% in 2017 to 20% in 2018.
Traditional tools are no longer sufficient to detect cyberattacks, the data shows: Antivirus systems only detected endpoint compromise 47% of the time; other attacks were caught through automated SIEM alerts (32%) and endpoint detection and response platforms (26%).
Most endpoint attacks are intended to exploit users. More than 50% of respondents reported Web drive-by incidents, 53% pointed to social engineering and phishing attacks, and half cited ransomware. Credential theft was used in 40% of compromises reported, researchers state.
The majority (84%) of endpoint breaches involve more than one device, experts report. Desktops and laptops are still the top devices of concern, but attackers are also compromising server endpoints, cloud-based endpoints, SCADA, and other industrial IoT devices. Cloud-based endpoints are increasingly popular, going from just over 40% in 2017 to 60% in 2018.
Given the commonality and effectiveness of user-targeted attacks, it’s worth noting that detection technologies designed to look at user and system behavior, or provide context awareness, were less involved in detecting breaches. Only 23% of breaches were found with attack behavior-modeling and only 11% were detected with behavior analytics.
Businesses aren’t using these technologies as often because they lack the means, SANS reports. Many IT and security pros report investing in next-gen capabilities but not installing them. For example, half have acquired next-gen AV tools but 37% have not implemented them. Forty-nine percent have fileless attack detection tools but 38% haven’t implemented the tech.
When breaches do occur it seems many businesses can trace them to the source. Nearly 80% of respondents report they can tie a user to endpoints and servers at least half the time (34% always, 45% at least half), which adds an identity when making decisions about user behavior.
Data collection makes a major difference in data breach remediation, but organizations don’t always have access to the data they needed. Most (84%) respondents want more network access and user data, 74% want more network security data from firewall/IPS/unified threat management systems, and 69% want better network traffic analysis.
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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial … View Full Bio