The asymmetric balance: Cyber-criminals and security experts

Becoming a cybersecurity expert generally requires years of training and, in most cases, several degrees. Individuals must possess a vast range of knowledge on various technology and cyber solutions.

Breaking in to the cybercrime industry, on the other hand, requires some basic skills and some extra cash. The accessibility of cybercrime tools allows for a massive disconnect within the balance between cybersecurity experts and cybercriminals.

To highlight this disconnect, here is a list of some of the leading qualifications in the cybersecurity industry:

  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Security Essentials (GSEC)
  • CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional (by ISC2)
  • SSCP - Systems Security Certified Practitioner (by ISC2)
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) (by ISACA)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) (by ISACA)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) (by ISACA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • CompTIA Security+  

These certifications require months of preparation as well as course fees and textbook fees, costing an individual both time and money. Meanwhile, the latest ransomware family is available on the dark web for a mere $39 dollars and DDOS-as-a-service has been found as low as $5 to rent for an hour, with an average price around $19.

With a basic level of skill and, essentially, spare change compared to the damage that these attacks causes, hackers can launch their career and start cashing in.  More advanced hackers have an even better incentive to invest in malware since the 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report found that a hacker making a $5,900 investment could see $84,100 in profits in just one month. In such a scenario, the hacker’s investment receives around 1,425 per cent ROI, a profit far larger than the $68,000 average salary a security specialist makes in a year.

With the amount of cybercriminals on the rise and a disproportionate number of security experts entering the field, businesses are now struggling to keep themselves protected as they wait for IT professionals to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and certifications to combat cybercriminals. There’s little hope in bridging this deficit using traditional means, so businesses must turn to alternative methods to keep themselves safe.

One possible way businesses can protect themselves is by employing modern, automated technology. Such technology has the capability to better manage the numerous alerts that organisations face because the automated workflow can complete the process of opening the ticket, contacting the user, questioning the user, isolating the station and running remediated processes all without analyst intervention. This type of system processes more alerts a day, saving businesses time, money and manpower while they implement protection.

Businesses can also provide themselves elevated security through the use of AI and machine learning. These systems protect by learning system trends and adjusting the system’s response to any abnormal activity. When enterprises use gateway services that require less human intervention than traditional solutions, they will see less false positives and quicker processing times in regards to the company’s security.  Businesses relying on human skill and knowledge to ward off cybercriminals have unfortunately already lost. While security experts are vital to the industry, they alone can no longer stop the mass amounts of attacks that plague various enterprises constantly.

Technology has evolved to allow for adoption of automated systems in businesses. If an enterprise wants to stand a chance in this cyber war, it needs to make this transition from man to machine.

Dotan Bar Noy, CEO and Co-Founder of ReSec Technologies

Image source: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens