Data Breach Readiness to Achieve Security


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Data Breach Readiness to Achieve Security
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Data breaches of today are as common as opening a computer. It’s not anymore about the question of whether your network will be breached; rather the only question is WHEN?

As reported below, Thales Breach Level Index, shows how breaches are becoming more of a menace as days go by.

A) There were 918 reported data breaches and almost 1.9 billion compromised data records worldwide in the first half of 2017.

B)  A Lack of Consumer Trust Across Industries     

Lack of Consumer Trust Across Industries
Source: Thales

C) Distinct Differences in the Level of Trust Based on Location, Culture or Regulation

Distinct Differences in the Level of Trust Based on Location, Culture or Regulation
Source: Thales

D) Global consumers are feeling the impact of data breaches

Global consumers are feeling the impact of data breaches
Source: Thales

See the full infographic here.

Breaches are wildly variable - no longer a binary hypothesis in which an organization either has or has not been breached, instead possessing a different level of fallout breaches compromising whole global networks of particularly delicate data to others and with little to no impact to others whatsoever. With the speed of businesses growing by the day, supplemented by new technologies continuously being deployed, and sophisticated new attacks regularly being launched creating untold havoc to a network, it is just a matter of time before a business will be attacked.

Thales reported that 54% of consumers believe that companies should be forced into mandatory data protection controls like encryption and two-factor authentication following a data breach. Organizations have experienced a breach or two promptings them to increase security budget allocations in trying to safeguard data from cyber criminals. Breach readiness to achieve security policy is now incorporated into the security strategy more than ever. Before organizations considered acquiring security prevention as ‘just enough for their business’, they are now giving a hard look at it. Although it is indeed within IT's authority to protect data, it is the business that owns the data that is greatly affected by security breaches. Working with businesses to determine the most critical assets of the business requires the utmost degree of security protection is the overriding piece in achieving security. According to Cypfer, “The financial, social, and organizational effect a breach incident has on the organization will largely be based on the established plan the organization has in place as well as your current preventive security measures.”

According to Compliance Point, “A Breach Readiness Review (BRR) helps an organization prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks by identifying gaps in the existing incident response program and providing recommendations that positively impact your team’s ability to react to threats – maximizing your organization's resilience to a destructive cyber incident.”

The present-day highly sophisticated cyber-attacks using top-of-the-line malware programs and innovative Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) perforate any defenses possible and spread horizontally using file shares and content stored within the system. This would empower malware to gain a long-term foothold within the system that will spread to multiple processes, operations, and applications, even those that are offline. A good deal of corporate data continues to be defenseless and impotent to most advanced, content-based malware mainly since traditional defenses are mostly inadequate to resist these attacks which oftentimes infiltrate the systems using legitimate channels. Cybercriminals always leverage the vulnerability of these defenses to spread malware into the system’s file shares and embed its malicious code into comprehensive data repositories. This results in relentless threat attacks even after correcting and rectifying it. There should be an implemented automatic system and endpoint protective security measures to rein in advanced threats. It is always effective to detect and block sophisticated threats with new detection methods and not rely too much on signatures. 

Oftentimes sophisticated threat security protection systems merely identify the existence of a sophisticated threat and issue alert that can be easily disregarded by any IT Manager. Reportedly an error such as this costs millions of dollars in damages. In the absence of a system to react to security breaches necessarily, effectively, and swiftly, an organization is leaving a window wide open to cyber criminals to surreptitiously steal data or worse spread around the system to exfiltrate more valuable data. Organization’s breach readiness to achieve security strategy policies should come from top to bottom. Top-level management should demonstrate that businesses and customers' data compliance policies are not just about fulfilling the required minimum standard to pass audit but, rather it is actually about protecting it. 

Remember the adage, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it, will apply similarly to the saying, if data doesn’t exist, it can’t be stolen. The life cycle of data should end with every effective measure of archiving and destroying data that is no longer needed.




1.     Breach Level Index | Total Records, Data Breaches Incidents and Data Breach Records by Industry

2.     Forescout | Advanced Threat Prevention

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