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30% of security leaders have given up on trying to stay ahead of malicious threats

A new report from Cisco, which surveyed 3,000 security leaders across 18 countries, has found that 30% of security leaders have ‘given up on trying to stay ahead of malicious threats and bad actors’.

Cisco’s 2019 CISO Benchmark Study found that security leaders are inundated by alerts, with 41% see more than 10,000 a day.

While some security leaders are seeing fewer alerts, they are only responding to 50.7% of them so far in 2019, compared with 55.6% in 2018.

“When used correctly, intelligent technologies such AI, machine learning and automation should be regarded as essential for the initial stages of alert prioritisation and managing high levels of requests. However, reliance on intelligent technologies to deal with cyber threats has decreased,” said Cisco.

Reliance on machine learning is down to 67% in 2019 compared to 77% in 2018, AI is down to 66% compared to 74% in 2018, and automation is down to 75% compared to 83% in 2018.

Of those surveyed in the UK, 24% of security leaders feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with malicious threats and bad actors, Spanish CISOs are the most confident (only 15% admit to having given up), followed by Russia (16%) and then the United States (18%). The least confident nation is Japan, with 43% of respondents admitting to suffering from “cyber fatigue”.

“This year, more than ever before CISOs are reporting that they are taking a much more proactive role in reducing their exposure through consolidation and training, as well as investments in critical technologies, for cyber defense and breach containment, but the war is far from over,” said Steve Martino, senior vice president and CISO, Cisco.

“Security leaders are still struggling to get greater visibility across their organisation and into threats. You can’t protect what you can’t see. Cisco is committed to helping organisations address these challenges and implement new techniques and technology to stay one step ahead of malicious actors and threats.”

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