To Catch A Thief: The Increasing Power Of Deception Technology In Cybersecurity

 Oct 26, 2019 9:00 AM
by Derek Lackey

Despite the rapid innovation and advancements in cybersecurity, chief information security officers (CISOs) and their teams must still contend with a fundamental strategic disadvantage of protecting data: the fact that cybercriminals always have the element of surprise. That is no small factor. As Sun Tzu counseled in The Art of War, one of the main keys to victory involves using surprise tactics. For security teams, this means they often find themselves in a daily struggle of defense, constantly looking for signs of breach and compromise across networks that grow vaster and more complex every day.

Recently, though, a powerful and effective — though certainly not foolproof — security strategy is allowing CISOs to take a more proactive approach. While cybersecurity will always be fundamentally about defending information, new best practices in what is known as deception technology let security teams play offense. As a result, the power of surprise can be wrestled out of criminals’ arsenals and used against them.

The Basis Of Deception Technology

The theory and principle behind deception technology is powerfully simple. Drawing from insights into the types of data criminals value and covet, deception technologies mine a network with decoys — booby traps disguised as data assets that alert an organization when they have been accessed. Deception technology lures criminals away from actual valuable data, while exposing their presence — often without their knowledge. This allows security professionals to closely monitor their patterns, activities and techniques, providing valuable intel to prevent future attacks.

Deception techniques are not only effective in protecting against outside attacks. They are also powerful tools for discovering internal threats. If someone starts poking around a network for information they are not authorized to access, deception technology is one of the most effective ways to catch them.

Despite its growing popularity, there are still some who feel squeamish about allowing criminals to remain inside a network long enough to monitor their activity. That’s understandable, but these types of misgivings ignore a fundamental reality of cybersecurity. Breaches are inevitable. Resources are more effectively allocated to minimizing the damage rather than investing in the false security of an impenetrable network. If you are connected, you are reachable.

What Deception Technology Does Right...

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