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By Forcepoint



By Nico Fischbach, CTO of Forcepoint

A paradigm shift in thinking is needed for the cybersecurity industry. Security teams are dealing with thousands of alerts a day, there is a never-ending barrage of threats and vulnerabilities currently hidden that can go live at any moment. Today, the role of the security teams dealing with alerts has become one of trying to find the needle in a haystack. In this model, it’s no surprise that it can take weeks, months or even years to uncover a breach.

A new approach to security is needed - today. One that doesn’t solely rely on legacy data protection solutions built on static policies and a culture of “no” that is only successful at creating friction, frustrating users and slowing down the enterprise.

There are two ways to achieve this goal. The first is to build a better needle-finding algorithm while the second is to just get rid of the hay.

And this all starts with understanding who is accessing your data. Shifting to a human-centric approach to cybersecurity recognizes that people follow an identifiable work routine to get their job done. Understanding their baseline “normal” behavior helps security teams quickly spot and investigate anomalies -- like the exfiltration or printing of a massive amount of customer data. This is a new category of cybersecurity that Forcepoint calls Risk-Adaptive Protection.

Risk-Adaptive Protection focuses on how, when and why people interact with critical data, correlating behavior with the context of user activities to view risk holistically. And, instead of locking down productivity, Risk-Adaptive Protection gives users more freedom by enforcing policies that are unique to the user and proportionally applied only when needed.

With this approach, continuous monitoring and human-centric behavior analytics take center stage, enabling security teams to see and organize risk as it occurs, and in real-time manage it more intelligently at the end-user level. With the ability to manage security protocols down to the individual, organizations can customize security response according to the level of risk the company is willing to accept.

In many ways, this same principle is used as part of the TSA PreCheck program. Prior to TSA PreCheck, all U.S. airline passengers were treated as potential threats and subjected to in-depth security review in order to access their gate of travel. TSA recognized most travelers are not in fact threats. This led to the TSA PreCheck program, creating a new class of “known travelers” that get a simpler, faster screening process in exchange for providing detailed background information. This information helps TSA better understand the individual traveler and establishes a level of trust that allows for the expedited screening process.

Yes. You read that correctly. Trust in the individual as it relates to security – and reducing security friction at same time. The threats aren’t going to slow down. And, the attackers are coming through the door. Rethinking cybersecurity strategy across the enterprise is now a mandate from executive leaders and the board of directors and on down.

Risk-Adaptive Protection is a strategic path forward.

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