Proactive Security Soars: New Study Shows Rapid Adoption

The report highlights a gap in industry guidance on best practices for building a proactive security strategy.

by Samiksha Jain June 19th, 2024

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Titania, specialists in continuous network security and compliance assurance solutions, announced the release of compelling new research that highlights a significant shift in cybersecurity spending towards proactive security measures.

The report, “Emerging Best Practice in the Use of Proactive Security Solutions,” indicates a marked increase in investments aimed at preemptively mitigating cyber threats.

According to the study, over 70% of businesses reported increased spending on proactive security solutions, such as attack surface management and risk-based vulnerability management, over the past year. This growth notably outpaces investments in both preventative and reactive measures.

Strategic Implementation and Cybersecurity Industry Trends

Conducted in partnership with Omdia, a global analyst and advisory leader, the study surveyed over 400 security decision-makers across North America, the UK, France, and Germany.

The findings highlight a rapid adoption of proactive security measures driven by three key objectives:

  • Reducing the opportunity for cyber threats
  • Reducing the mean time to remediate known vulnerabilities
  • Minimizing the attack surface.

These proactive solutions are becoming an essential layer of protection, providing a comprehensive understanding of the threat landscape and attack surface to enhance organizational resilience and readiness.

Geographic and Sectoral Insights

The trend towards proactive security is particularly pronounced in the EMEA region, where 74% of respondents increased their budgets compared to 67% in North America. The financial services sector (54%) and critical infrastructure organizations, including energy and utilities companies (53%), show a strong inclination towards these investments.

Nearly half (47%) of the respondents reported that their top cybersecurity goals for the next 12-24 months include reducing the opportunity for threats through proactive security. In contrast, only 27% of organizations plan to focus on improving tactical outcomes such as better threat prevention, detection, and response.

Enhancing Security Posture

Organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to improve their security posture through proactive security tools, which significantly enhance attack surface management and security control optimization.

Many organizations reported limited visibility into the security posture of their network assets, such as firewalls, switches, and routers. Approximately half of the surveyed organizations check their network devices at most monthly, and some only monitor devices in critical segments or a sample of devices across their networks.

Critical infrastructure organizations reported lower confidence than other industries in their ability to maintain adequate network segmentation and prevent unauthorized network access.

Anticipated Organizational Impact

Almost half (48%) of all respondents anticipate a high level of organizational disruption due to the broader adoption of proactive security solutions, highlighting the transformative impact these measures are expected to have.

“This research vividly illustrates a widespread and rapid shift towards proactive security to improve operational readiness and resilience,” said Tom Beese, Executive Chairman of Titania. “Organizations recognize the critical need to stay ahead of known threats and shut down attacks by investing in solutions that offer real-time visibility of their security posture and remediation actions that continuously minimize their exposure.”

Businesses emphasized the importance of consolidating proactive security tools, with 65% highlighting better visibility and management of the attack surface, 60% focusing on improved security control optimization, and 54% noting manpower productivity improvements.

Critical Proactive Security Capabilities

The survey identified several critical proactive security capabilities:

  • The ability to view risks through different attack frameworks (61%).
  • Full asset context (60%).
  • Integration with existing security fabric to implement temporary mitigations (57%).

Andrew Braunberg, Principal Analyst at Omdia, explained, “While the cybersecurity industry has clung to the ‘assume breach’ mantra with its preventative and reactive solutions, organizations are awakening to a smarter strategy: proactively understanding attack surfaces, mapping attack paths, and plugging vulnerabilities to prevent breaches. Network device configurations are crucial to security posture management, and the adoption of proactive security solutions that automate configuration assessments could have a transformative impact.”

The report highlights a gap in industry guidance on best practices for building a proactive security strategy. It notes that the US Defense Department’s Command Cyber Readiness Inspection program (CORA) and the EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) requirements align well with the need for proactive security solutions.


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