Stranger in a Strange Land: Finding the New Normal in a Security Culture

The following article was published in Security Magazine in June as part of the Corner Office series authored by Phil Aronson. 

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The title of this month’s column is from an old Robert Heinlein novel. A man from Earth, raised by Martians, is thrust into our world and begins to question everything. His frame of reference conflicts with the culture.

Today, we have a new normal. Risks are outpacing our ability to staff, fund and manage them. Technology is displacing old notions of security. We are no longer in a “safe” world. There are many who believe they are simply managing what inevitably is going to happen. We are all strangers in a strange land.

A colleague of mine provided a disturbing story that illustrates this new normal. IT Security teams receive more than 17,000 alerts or potential threats per week. Nineteen percent are well-founded threats. But only four percent are investigated. They spend 395 hours a week reporting on false positives at an average annual cost of $1.27 million.

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Many of our clients in the physical security market are facing similar challenges. They see drones and robots at industry events basing their value proposition on cutting the cost of guarding. But, at the end of the day, they are fighting their version of the 19 percent of well-founded threats with a four-percent investigation rate.

 This will eventually force a change in our “security culture.” Something has to give.

Continue to read the Corner Office at Security Magazine