Why Prevention Alone Fails
Are you confident in your company’s cybersecurity program?
That’s a complicated question. If you’re new to the topic, at minimum, your business might have some level of cybersecurity measures in place. These are likely preventive measures, which may be strong passwords, a two-step verification system (MFA), a firewall, and an anti-virus/anti-malware product.
Each year, cyber incidents at major companies make headlines. Equifax, Yahoo!, Target, Marriott, and Uber are just several among a long list of victims. Despite their abundant resources, all were ill-prepared from a cyber incident standpoint and paid dearly in financial, legal, and reputational losses.
Large corporations can typically survive the associated damages, but that’s not something smaller businesses can say confidently.
Consider these statistics:
- Without proper visibility, the average lifespan of an incident, from identification to containment, was 279 days in 2019.
- In 2018, malware attacks cost businesses an average of $2.6 million to remediate and repair.
- Sixty percent of small businesses fold within six months of a cyberattack.
In reality, there are consequences at every business level, with one surefire guarantee: If your organization can’t function because of a cyber incident, you’ll lose money and risk shutting down permanently. The best way to avoid that scenario is to implement a cybersecurity program built on detection and containment, not just prevention.
Let’s break it down.
Three Truths of Cybersecurity:
1. Cybersecurity is not an IT responsibility. It’s a business responsibility.
Every employee needs to understand this from the top down, because breaches often start with one wrong click. Outline security goals, find ways to reach them, educate your team members, and establish an incident response plan. When your entire business assumes the cybersecurity responsibility, you can truthfully say you value it.
2. There’s no silver bullet in cybersecurity.
No single product or combination of products will protect your business from every cyberattack every time. Cyber programs need to be dynamic because the threat landscape is always changing.
3. Total prevention is impossible, making cybersecurity compromises inevitable.
Cybersecurity measures based solely on prevention and protection leave you vulnerable. Real-time monitoring with detection and containment mitigate damages and keep your organization functioning when the breach occurs.
A Dynamic Threat Requires Dynamic Defenses
Think of office buildings and homes. There are locks for every door and window, but responsible owners bolster their security systems with cameras and alerts so proper authorities are notified as soon as break-ins occur. Well, in the virtual world, there are plenty of locks, but not enough organizations have the capability to respond to security alerts in a timely fashion.
Weak or unchanging cybersecurity programs present golden opportunities for hackers to hone their skills. If companies’ cyber defenses remain stagnant, hackers will continue to exploit them.
Experts estimate 5 to 10 new vulnerabilities and attack methods emerge every week, with exploitation attempts happening daily. Just because you were safe, relatively speaking, one day, doesn’t mean you will be the next.
Shifts in work environments expose vulnerabilities as well. A 2019 analysis by video conferencing tech firm Owl Labs found 62% of employees between 22 and 65 occasionally worked remotely. That number has risen exponentially due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This poses significant obvious risks for organizations. As more and more operations, employees and data move outside the corporate network, can companies be certain it’s all protected?
Then there’s the rise of 5G networks, cloud technologies, and connected devices. All present challenges for cybersecurity experts and opportunities for hackers, who will always find ways to exploit vulnerabilities and identify new ones.
It’s a 24/7/365 chess match, of sorts. Defense requires constant monitoring and measurement to document your company’s typical activities and identify changes—far too big a responsibility to leave to your IT team alone.
Proper cybersecurity leverages detection, response, and containment of cyber threats state—this is most notably achieved by 24/7/365 Endpoint and Network & Cloud Cybersecurity Monitoring, backed by the knowledge and expertise of experienced professionals.
Only then will you have a cybersecurity program that your organization, employees, clients, and partners can be confident about.