Businesses Expect Advanced Security to Lessen Reliance on Human Judgement in Fighting Global Cyber Battle

Latest Trend Micro research shows increasing reliance on machine learning to fight cyber threats, yet skepticism remains

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London, 23rd May 2017 – Latest research from Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, reveals that three quarters of businesses (76 percent) foresee advanced security techniques will lessen the need to rely on human judgement to capture subtle differences between threat anomalies in the future. This displacement will reduce the strain on IT resources leaving time for other strategic activities. Nearly 45 percent expecting this change to occur within the next five years.

The research, which is the second phase of Trend Micro’s investigation into the state of cybersecurity, surveyed 2,402 IT decision makers across Europe and the US. It reveals that transformation is potentially already under way with two-thirds of organizations (67 percent) currently using advanced techniques within their cybersecurity solutions, and a further 43 percent of those who currently do not, planning to introduce them in the next 12-18 months.

Despite the majority of businesses advocating advanced security techniques, there is still skepticism and confusion. Looking specifically at machine learning, more than 20 percent of respondents feel it is a marketing buzzword and a further 11 percent believe it only exists in movies, demonstrating a clear disparity in how businesses feel best to protect themselves. In addition, 15 percent of businesses don’t yet know how effective machine learning and behavioral analysis are at preventing attacks. This indicates as enterprise security evolves, there remains an opportunity for technology professionals to meet the demand to maintain these systems with advanced training.

Bharat Mistry, Principal Security Strategist at Trend Micro, stated, “Cyber threats are becoming increasingly stealthy and destructive, meaning businesses must also adapt their defenses. Following the explosion of ransomware and other damaging cyber-attacks like those highlighted in our latest Pawn Storm report, organizations now face a very real threat to their operations and competitive advantage. While the opportunity now exists to focus more on the newest, most advanced technology to circumvent the potential for human error, it’s evident that companies aren’t clear on their strategy here yet.”

“Companies cited that their lack of understanding may be a result of the ever-changing attacks and over-hyped claims,” said Mistry. “The reality is that there is no silver bullet. It takes a layered technology approach, directed and managed by security experts trained in best practices to defend against threats and to make stakeholders feel safe.”

The latest report also exposes the lack of awareness around false positives within cyber-security, when a security system believes it has detected a threat and takes action but no such threat actually exists. These protective actions are hugely time constraining and can disrupt the functioning of the organization by rendering programs and operating systems unusable. Forty percent of businesses have not accounted for this, but the problem is particularly prevalent throughout Europe with the majority of businesses in Norway (78 percent), Sweden (64 percent), Austria (60 percent) and Switzerland (59 percent) having never previously considered this issue.

Businesses now face up 500,000 new, unique threats every day, and 2016 alone saw a 752 percent spike in ransomware attacks. The very real danger ransomware poses to business continuity was demonstrated last week with WannaCry spreading across the globe. Trend Micro suggests a blend of cross-generational threat defense techniques, which include advanced technologies such as machine learning, as the best way to detect and handle the full range of threats faced by organizations today.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with one of the biggest and most successful technology providers in the education sector,” says Joe Ashton, Regional Sales Leader at Trend Micro.
“This deal will not only give Trend Micro a great opportunity to reach even more customers in this important market, but also provides schools and colleges with industry leading protection from the full range of online threats, whereas in the past they may have been left exposed by under-powered solutions”, Ashton added.

Mistry continued, “Businesses require a connected threat defense, allowing them to share threat intelligence across layers with the visibility and control to protect, detect and respond – this is where we’ll see the best results. Advanced cybersecurity technologies must be comprehended before they can be integrated into an efficient system, and businesses will still require human expertise to evolve their security strategies and optimize security procedures.”

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Notes to editors
The survey of 2,402 IT decision makers (ITDMs) in the UK, U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Switzerland was commissioned by Trend Micro and conducted by Opinium in February 2017.

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704), a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our solutions for consumers, Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ provide layered content security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. Leveraging these solutions, organizations can protect their end users, their evolving data center and cloud resources, and their information threatened by sophisticated targeted attacks.
All of solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe.
For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com/en_gb/. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicroUK.