Today, let’s take a glimpse into the world of a CISO. Through interacting with our customer base and fellow CISOs, as well as research from our ReliaQuest Threat Research team, we are constantly attuned to the dynamic threat and market landscapes of today.

In this blog, I aim to offer you a security lens to that landscape—sharing the top three trends we have identified based on our interactions and research. These trends are actively shaping the decisions CISOs are making to enhance the security measures implemented within their organizations.

Business Email Compromise

Throughout this past quarter, I’ve had consistent discussions with CISOs regarding business email compromise (BEC). BEC attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent, in part due to their low profile in headlines compared to other types of cyber attacks like ransomware. Despite being relatively unsophisticated and requiring minimal resources, BEC is highly profitable for attackers. BEC attackers exploit trust by disguising themselves as known persons and tricking employees into either divulging confidential information or facilitating a financial transaction. The primary impact of these attacks on an organization is, of course, monetary loss.

Protecting Your Organization Against BEC

To effectively safeguard against potential BEC attacks, we recommend implementing the following defense strategies:

  • Technical controls: These controls are designed to detect, prevent, and respond to potential incidents quickly and effectively. Some examples of these controls include email content filtering, conditional access, token expirations, secure email gateways, and email servers.
  • Risk assessments: Organizations should conduct risk assessments of their payment processes to identify vulnerabilities and develop strategies to enhance security. This involves analyzing transaction flows, approval mechanisms, user access controls, and external factors like third-party vendors.
  • Security awareness: Targeted security awareness programs can educate employees about the characteristics and techniques of malicious emails. Use examples and case studies to highlight the risk of unauthorized access via compromised credentials. Provide best practices for email security to help employees identify and handle suspicious emails.
  • Security operations platforms: A security operations platform is essential for improving incident detection and response against BEC attacks. To effectively defend against these attacks, the platform should efficiently analyze user-reported emails, utilize advanced threat intelligence, integrate with other security tools, and automate incident response.

Security Data Storage Solutions

A shake-up in the SIEM market has caused a shift on how much CISOs rely on traditional security information and event management (SIEM) solutions for security data storage. For years, Splunk was considered the ultimate solution to organizations’ SIEM needs. However, with the recent acquisition of Splunk by Cisco, CISOs have been prompted to reassess. The acquisition, combined with the proliferation of SIEM options today, has led organizations to explore other solutions and reevaluate a multi-SIEM approach in order to adapt to potential shifts in the industry.

Extensive mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity has also factored into this shift, as organizations find themselves dealing with entities that operate independently and have their own set of tools. The need to effectively manage and make sense of the diverse SIEM landscape has further emphasized the importance of adopting a multi-SIEM architecture for CISOs.

Adopting a Multi-SIEM Approach

Because of these trends, a single SIEM may no longer adequately meet the complex security needs of organizations today. To bridge this gap, we recommend CISOs embrace the multi-SIEM solution world to overcome the limitations tied to a single SIEM, such as scalability, compatibility, and the ability to collect and analyze diverse security data.

Organizations can optimize interoperability by using a flexible security platform that integrates with different systems and normalizes data using a tool like the ReliaQuest GreyMatter Universal Translator. It acts as a bridge between different data sources—such as a SIEM, endpoint, network, and cloud—to seamlessly collect and translate data into a unified format within a security operations platform. Standardizing the data makes it easier to stitch together and provide contextualized information for analysts to streamline security operations.

Orchestration and Automation Strategy

I’ve also heard from CISOs recently that they are increasingly leveraging orchestration and automation strategies that allow them to streamline and accelerate their security processes. These strategies focus on automating the detection, investigation, and response (DIR) lifecycle, leading to improved operational efficiency.

Adopting Automation

To effectively implement automation, a security operations platform can offer a wide range of capabilities that specifically support automation, such as response playbooks. These playbooks streamline the response process and maintain consistency in actions taken.

Security operations platforms can also automate routine tasks such as alert triaging, data enrichment, and containment. By removing the burden of these repetitive tasks, security teams can redirect their focus towards more critical aspects of threat investigation and mitigation. As a bonus, the proper application of automation reduces the risk of human error and allows for faster and more accurate responses to potential security threats, enabling CISOs to fully capitalize on the benefits of orchestration and automation.


CISOs face an ever-changing and dynamic landscape that requires them to stay ahead of recent threat trends like BEC attacks. To remain resilient and optimize their security strategies, they’re considering new approaches and technologies that allow for greater adaptability in response to market shifts.

Adapting to market trends allows CISOs to not only to improve their defense mechanisms, but also align them with the organization’s broader goals. By proactively identifying trends and adopting comprehensive approaches that tackle both threat landscapes and market factors head-on, CISOs will be better equipped in a world where cyberattacks continue to grow ever more sophisticated.