Compromised credentials a leading concern for most security pros

90% of organizations are worried about compromised credentials, though 60% say they cannot catch these types of attacks today, according to a new survey by Rapid7. 62% of organizations are receiving more alerts than they can feasibly investigate.

60% cannot detect attacks

These key findings are strongly underscored by the fact that compromised credentials have been the leading attack vector for the last five years according to the Verizon 2015 Data Breach and Investigations Report.

Additionally, intruders generally remain undetected for an average of 197 days within retail organizations and 98 days within financial services organizations once they’ve breached a network.

“Security professionals are struggling to detect and investigate incidents because the monitoring solutions available do not provide visibility into today’s modern IT environments and cannot give users the insight they need to make decisions quickly,” said Lee Weiner, senior vice president of products and engineering at Rapid7. “This lack of understanding – or context – is causing massive alert fatigue and leaving companies unable to effectively detect the most used attack method today: compromised credentials.”

Information security teams are expected to mitigate risk in sprawling environments, where employees are remotely accessing the network, at any time, from any place. The network perimeter has now expanded to include cloud services, mobile devices, and global workforces that encompass partners and contractors, making prevention as the sole security strategy effectively obsolete.

Preventative solutions alone cannot protect against many of the most common attack vectors behind breaches, such as phishing and stolen credentials.

In an effort to better monitor their IT environments, security teams are investing further in incident detection and response solutions to detect and contain compromise when it occurs. However, while 55% of organizations say they are using a SIEM to aid with incident detection and response, alarmingly, 62% of these organizations report receiving more alerts than they can handle. In addition, SIEMs are not being used to monitor cloud services in use, leaving organizations blind to this important part of modern IT environments.

Additional highlights from the survey include:

  • 45% of respondents plan to increase spending on incident response programs and solutions
  • Only 1/3 of organizations report visibility into cloud services, while 79% of respondents reported allowing the use of at least one cloud service within their organization
  • The top three challenges facing security teams today are: (1) no visibility into user risk; (2) more alerts than the security team can handle; and (3) investigations that take too long.