It has nearly been a year since the Notifiable Data Breach scheme came into effect in Australia and already 550 breaches have been reported. Of the 245 breaches reported between July 2018 and September 2018, 57% were caused by a malicious or criminal attack. Modern organisations must understand the criticality of having the best possible cyber defence to protect against malicious actions of skilful cybercriminals. Thankfully, most organisations today employ various cybersecurity tools designed to help prevent inevitable attacks from wreaking havoc and causing data loss.
However, CSOs and their security teams, still share caution about the state of their organisation’s security posture because new scams, vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and hacking techniques used in cyberattacks are constantly evolving, thus representing an ongoing risk. The increase in internet-connected devices and cloud application usage exacerbates the situation as threat vectors expand beyond the traditional corporate perimeter.
Today, typical threat vectors that organisations must monitor include the network, web, cloud, applications, endpoints, mobile devices, databases and the Internet of Things (IoT). All these vectors are possible defenceless launch pads that bad actors can use to spring an attack.
The pressing concerns often encountered by organisations, with regards to their security operations, involve understanding the risk profile and effectively responding to those risks. However, if organisations have a lack of visibility and awareness of daily security situations it becomes nearly impossible to determine the proper responses.
Identify personalised Risk
Data breaches often happen quickly. During such a security incident, identifying where risks exist, the current reality of their security posture and, ultimately what security actions are necessary should be a business’s top security priority. Security-conscious organisations must implement an easy and reliable way to analyse and measure their security posture in real time, perform ‘what-if’ analysis on various defence layers, and identify defensive actions needed to remove present risks.
Organisations need security solutions that provide personalised threat information and risk scoring adapted to their personal situation. Organisations generally don’t have the same security systems, so security monitoring solutions should be able to reveal weaknesses in the current defensive layers an organisation has and guide immediate and necessary defensive actions for specific environments that consider any cloud applications, endpoints, or other threat vectors that organisations have which could put them at risk. By using personalised monitoring tools, organisations will be better positioned to protect against vulnerabilities that their current defensive layers may be susceptible to.
Further, risk-based solutions should provide real-time information about live attacks, coupled with data that captures malicious activities at the specific defence layer that could result in compromised networks, systems and data residing on-premises or in the cloud. Being able to track the risk of a threat in real-time is imperative for security teams to know which defensive measures to implement to reduce an organisation’s threat surface and susceptibility to cyberattacks.
While, real-time risk-based solutions are extremely effective during a breach, best practice should see organisations implementing the solutions long before security breaches occur. Organisations must deploy effective security solutions proactively, so their systems remain protected from any threat actors attempting to launch an attack. Solutions must be able to show organisations where vulnerabilities lie and help them determine the most appropriate strategy to reduce the chance of a threat actor targeting that vulnerability. The essence of a great cyber security strategy is effective planning, policy, budgeting, and risk-based monitoring will help organisations achieve this.
No organisation wants to be a statistic in the next Notifiable Data Breaches report. As threat vectors and the threat landscape continue to become more complex, organisations need security solutions that will help address security vulnerabilities to be better protected from data breaches. By implementing personalised risk-based security solutions, organisations will have a better understanding of their environment and the steps they can take to effectively protect their data.