Findings from the 2018 Cisco Annual Cyber-Security Report, has shown that 39 percent of organizations are reliant on automation, 34 percent is reliant on machine learning, while 32 percent is highly reliant on Artificial Intelligence.

The report, which was released last week also indicate that security leaders rely on and invest in automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence to defend against threats, adding that malware sophistication is increasing as adversaries begin to weaponize cloud services and evade detection through encryption, used as a tool to conceal command-and-control activity.

“While encryption is meant to enhance security, the expanded volume of encrypted web traffic, both legitimate and malicious, has created more challenges for defenders trying to identify and monitor potential threats. Cisco threat researchers observed more than a threefold increase in encrypted network communication used by inspected malware samples over a 12-month period,” said John N. Stewart, Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cisco.

To reduce adversaries’ time to operate, security professionals said they will increasingly leverage and spend more on tools that use AI and machine learning, reported in the 11th Cisco® 2018 Annual Cyber-security Report (ACR).

Some additional highlights from Cisco 2018 Annual Cyber-security Report include: The financial cost of attacks is no longer a hypothetical number; Supply chain attacks are increasing in velocity and complexity; although security is extremely vital, it’s getting more complex and the scope of breaches is expanding. Also, from the report, it was revealed that security professionals see value in behavioral analytics tools in locating malicious actors in networks; Use of cloud is growing; attackers taking advantage of the lack of advanced security; Trends in malware volume have an impact on defenders’ time to detection (TTD), etc.

The report had in it some recommendations for defenders, which include; to confirm that they adhere to corporate policies and practices for application, system, and appliance patching; access timely, accurate threat intelligence data and processes that allow for that data to be incorporated into security monitoring; to back up data often and test restoration procedures, processes that are critical in a world of fast-moving, network-based ransom ware worms and destructive cyber weapons.


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