SAN FRANCISCO — Verizon beefed up its security portfolio with an acquisition (ProtectWise) and a new managed security service (Blackberry Cylance’s endpoint protection) at RSA Conference.
At the same time, the operator also unveiled its second annual Mobile Security Index, which found that more companies suffered a mobile device attack compared to last year, and they were hit harder. Sixty-two percent described the compromise as “major.” And 41 percent described it as “major with lasting repercussions.”
ProtectWise is a Denver, Colorado-based security startup that provides cloud-based network detection and response. Verizon plans to integrate ProtectWise’s technology into its existing offerings. These additional capabilities will boost Verizon’s ability to detect and respond to security threats, said Alex Schlager, executive director of security services at Verizon.
“The way we look at security is that security should start at the network,” said Schlager. “If you have this visibility and the capability to detect threats at the network level, the more effective you will be at protecting the upper layers of your environment.”
ProtectWise’s platform deploys lightweight sensors in any segment of the enterprise network, across clouds and on premises, to provide visibility and record everything that happens for analysis, threat discovery, and response.
“One of the many capabilities and features it has: as the information is stored, you can literally rewind back in time and see what played out,” Schlager said. “ProtectWise can perform that same degree of highly performant analytics in cloud and IoT environments, which is increasingly important with 5G.”
In addition to the acquisition, Verison also added BlackBerry Cylance’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based endpoint security products to its managed security services portfolio. CylanceProtect prevents ransomware, fileless attacks, and other unknown threats from executing on the endpoint. CylanceOptics is an AI driven endpoint detection and response (EDR) product. BlackBerry acquired Cylance for $1.4 billion in November.
Mobile Security Index
And for the second year, Verizon published its Mobile Security Index. In 2018, companies were far more worried about loss of productivity on mobile devices than data breaches, said Matt Montgomery, director of marketing for the Verizon wireless business group. This year’s report showed more security awareness — and more mobile breaches.
Thirty-three percent of organizations said they suffered a compromise that involved a mobile device, up from 27 percent in Verizon’s 2018 report. And yet 45 percent of organizations had mobile security in place, while key protections like anti-malware and mobile threat defense were even lower. Additionally, 48 percent admitted to sacrificing security to “get the job done” — things like using public WiFi. Those that did were almost twice as likely to suffer a mobile-related attack: 46 percent versus 24 percent.
“So there’s better awareness, but in fact less action then we thought there should be,” Montgomery said. And, he added, “they feel pretty good about their overall security posture” with 84 percent rating their mobile security measures as “effective” and 33 percent rating them “very effective.” “Yet mobile breaches have gone up,” Montgomery said.
Verizon surveyed 671 senior-level professionals responsible for the procurement, management, and security of mobile devices across a range of industry sectors for this research.