In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses need to stay ahead of cybercriminals to protect their assets and reputation. One alarming statistic reveals that the average data breach in the US goes undetected for a staggering 206-days. That’s almost seven months of a criminal having access to your systems without you even knowing…YIKES!! This article will explore the root causes of this problem, the significant financial impact it has, why businesses need to step their game up, and how an old, but hardly utilized solution can deliver the proactive protection that businesses need.
Why Data Breaches Fly Under the Radar
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or how big your business is, data breaches are the Kryptonite that will bring your business to its knees. The crazy thing is, it’s not a secret. Everyone knows that suffering a data breach could have a devastating impact on their business. And yet, somehow these breaches still manage to go undetected for months! But that’s not even the craziest part. The craziest thing about this is the reason these breaches go undetected for so long isn’t a secret either. Businesses are just too busy focusing on the wrong thing. The reason these ruthless attacks continue to fly under the radar is because the threat tactics are constantly changing and the traditional security measures we’re using can’t keep up.
Cybercriminals have the ability to adapt and innovate their tactics at will. Their only limitations are their creativity and computer skills. Although lack of skills is becoming less of an issue these days when you can hire a coder on the dark web for literally pennies on the dollar. This sheer volume of attacks, coupled with the growing complexity and interconnectivity of IT environments, has resulted in numerous blind spots that criminals are openly taking advantage of. Then you take into account that most businesses don’t have a dedicated security team, their IT departments are spread too thin, and the tools they’re using produce more false positives than those first edition at-home Covid tests, and you can start to see how easy it is to be a cybercriminal these days.
But before we go on, let’s take a closer look at a few of these contributing factors:
- Adaptive Cybercriminals: Hackers are constantly refining their tactics to bypass security measures, posing an ongoing challenge for organizations. They often employ advanced techniques like fileless malware, encryption, and living off the land (LOTL) attacks to avoid detection.
- Alert Overload: IT departments face a barrage of false alarms, leading to a numb response to genuine threats. This alert fatigue occurs when IT and security professionals are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of alerts generated by their systems, causing them to become desensitized and potentially miss critical indicators of an actual breach.
- Network Blind Spots: The complexity and interconnected nature of IT environments, including the use of cloud services and remote workforces, make it difficult for businesses to have comprehensive network visibility. Without a clear view of their entire network, organizations are unable to detect unusual activities that may indicate a breach.
- Limited Resources: Small and medium-sized enterprises often lack the budget and expertise to effectively tackle their cybersecurity risks. Consequently, these organizations don’t have sufficient personnel or technology to monitor their networks continuously, leaving them exposed to undetected data breaches.
The Price of Undetected Data Breaches
So we touched on the fact that everyone knows data breaches come with a hefty price tag. And common logic would tell you that the longer a breach goes undiscovered, the more significant the financial consequences will be. We see reports online like this one from IBM where they point out that the average cost of a data breach in the United States is a staggering $9.44 million. Or the one from the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance stating that 60% of small and mid-sized businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack. But what do these costs actually entail, and how do they disproportionately impact small and mid-sized businesses?
To answer those questions, let’s take a look a some of the hidden costs of data breaches:
- Loss of Business and Contracts: Data breaches can lead to a significant loss of customer trust, resulting in a decline in business opportunities. Think about large vendors, corporations, or any government contracts you may have. Suffering a data breach could mean the end of those contracts since those organizations typically have strict security requirements and they may have policies in place that prevent them from working with companies that have suffered a breach.
- Legal and Regulatory Fines: Non-compliance with regulations like HIPAA and CCPA can result in some serious fines for your business. For example, a Tier 4 HIPAA violation can bring you fines that can reach up to $1.5 million per calendar year for each provision of the HIPAA regulations that have been violated. A fine like that means “Game Over” for most small and mid-sized businesses.
- Remediation and Recovery: The cost of remediation and recovery after a data breach can be substantial. You’ve got lost revenue and wasted labor expenses due to down time. The costs directly associated with incident response, system restoration, data recovery, and then the forensics. All of these costs start to add up really fast. Smaller businesses may struggle to absorb these costs, especially if they lack adequate cybersecurity insurance coverage.
- Reputational Damage: The impact of a data breach on a company’s reputation can be long-lasting, leading to a decline in brand value and customer loyalty. For small and mid-sized businesses, this type of damage to your reputation can be catastrophic. Especially if you don’t have money to hire a PR firm to help you rebuild your public image.
- Increased Insurance Premiums: Companies that experience a data breach consistently see their cybersecurity insurance premiums increase. So don’t forget to factor that into the long-term financial burden.
Time for Business Leaders to Embrace Change and Take Charge
The 206-day undetected data breach statistic should serve as a wake-up call for all business leaders. It’s time to rethink our approach to cybersecurity. We need to shift our perspective and stop viewing cybersecurity as merely an IT function of our business and start looking at it as the way we manage the digital risk for our businesses.
As leaders, it’s crucial to understand that it’s impossible to lock everything down and completely prevent a breach from ever happening. There are too many threats to account for and the threat landscape is constantly changing. Instead, the focus should be on building resilience by developing the ability to rapidly detect and respond when incidents occur. Emphasizing rapid detection and response ensures that your organization can minimize the impact of breaches, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain the trust of customers and stakeholders.
By changing the mindset and integrating cybersecurity into the core of your business strategy, you can cultivate a robust risk management culture that permeates all levels of the organization. With just this subtle shift, you can mitigate financial losses, protect your reputation, and ensure the long-term success of your business in the digital era.
How to Future-Proof Your Security Solution
So how do you stay ahead of an enemy that’s constantly changing? Simple, through the use of User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). UEBA is an advanced cybersecurity technology designed to keep businesses safe, both now and in the future.
That’s a pretty bold claim that may sound a little farfetched, but let me use the analogy of the human body to explain. We know that getting sick is inevitable, it’s just part of the human experience. But we know how our bodies normally feel, so the minute something starts to feel off, we do whatever we can to minimize the impact and prevent the spread to others in our house. The same can be done with your business network. By constantly watching over your network, you can create a baseline for how it normally looks and behaves. This gives you the ability to detect and identify in real-time the moment that something goes wrong. It goes beyond traditional security tools by focusing on user and entity behaviors, making it an ideal solution for addressing the ever-evolving security challenges we face.
Here’s how UEBA works and why it’s essential for future-proofing your business:
- Adapts to Changing Threats: Cybercriminals are continually refining their techniques and inventing new ways to infiltrate networks. UEBA’s machine learning capabilities enable it to evolve and adapt to these changes, ensuring your business remains protected from emerging threats.
- Monitors User and Entity Behavior: UEBA closely observes the actions of users and entities (such as devices and applications) within your network. By analyzing their normal behavior patterns, UEBA can quickly identify unusual or suspicious activities, which could indicate a security breach or other threats.
- Detects Insider Threats: UEBA can help you identify potential threats coming from within your organization. By monitoring employee behavior, UEBA can spot unusual or risky actions, such as accessing sensitive data without authorization or sharing confidential information with unauthorized parties.
- Proactively Addresses Future Security Challenges: As businesses grow and embrace new technologies, their security needs change. UEBA’s ability to learn and adapt ensures that your organization remains protected against future threats, no matter how your business evolves.
- Saves Time and Resources: UEBA reduces the burden on your IT team by automating the process of identifying and responding to potential threats. This frees up time and resources that can be invested in other essential areas of your business, such as innovation and growth.
Transform Cybersecurity with UEBA
The disturbing reality that the average data breach in the US remains concealed for nearly seven months underscores the pressing need for businesses to reevaluate their approach to cybersecurity. Current strategies have proven to be insufficient, leaving organizations vulnerable to prolonged breaches that cause significant financial and reputational damage. As the threat landscape evolves and regulations tighten, companies must confront these challenges head-on.
User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) offers a game-changing solution to this problem, empowering businesses to identify and respond to data breaches more effectively. By leveraging advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, UEBA can detect subtle anomalies in user and entity behavior patterns, flagging potential threats in real-time. This leads to quicker detection and response, reducing the fallout of a data breach and saving businesses from devastating consequences.
The time for indecision is over. Businesses need embrace UEBA to elevate their cybersecurity posture, mitigate the financial impacts of data breaches, and protect their hard-earned reputation. By adopting UEBA, organizations can safeguard their valuable assets, instill trust in customers and stakeholders, and stay one step ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Don’t Let Cyberattacks Derail Your Success
The devastating impacts of cyberattacks are undeniable, and with the ever-evolving threat landscape, it’s only going to get worse. Your business can’t afford to remain vulnerable while cybercriminals relentlessly search for ways to exploit your valuable data. It’s time to take control and secure your organization’s future.
Schedule a 15-minute discovery call with our experts today and learn how our fully managed UEBA solution provides complete real-time protection. With quick and easy deployment, you’ll gain the peace of mind you need, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – growing your business.
Don’t wait until it’s too late; click the link below to schedule your call and safeguard your organization from the catastrophic consequences of cyberattacks.