We’ve all seen the headlines; breaches discovered months (or years) after the initial attack. Often, the length of time that hackers have access to a stolen network means the attack is deep into the systems and the amount of data being stolen is massive.
Of course, anytime a breach is discovered, there are costs associated with it. But, when that breach has impacted many systems, databases, and machines, those costs increase dramatically. The time needed to identify the full impact of the breach, as well as the creation of a remediation plan and the actual remediation work, can be as much as the breach itself. And, the staff needs for remediation may mean that other business goals fall by the wayside.
Moreover, there is also the less measurable cost of changing public opinion and brand equity lost in a breach. If your customers can’t trust you with their information, even if they feel no direct impact from the breach, they will take their business elsewhere.
The Cost of Security
Security solutions can be expensive. We’re not going to argue that. But, when you compare the cost of a vulnerability assessment or a next-gen firewall to the potential millions of dollars lost in a breach, security starts to look a lot more affordable. According to IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Breach Report, the average global cost of a data breach is $3.9 million.
Depending on the suite of solutions you need to thoroughly protect your business, your security budget can vary dramatically. Your industry and any regulations around it can also impact your security needs, and therefore your security costs.
However, no matter what kind of business you have or what industry you’re in, you need a security plan to keep your data, and your customers’ data, safe.
The Value of Peace of Mind
Going back to IBM’s report, on average, the cost of a breach lasting under 200 days is $1.2 million less than a breach lasting more than 200 days. So, there is value in protecting your business from a breach happening at all and considerable value in detecting it and confining it quickly. Peace of mind comes with investing in the right tools to protect your business, network, data, and customers.
To get that valuable peace of mind, there are a few types of products and tools that you may want to consider:
Vulnerability Assessment – Before you splurge on a bunch of new security products, you should conduct a thorough vulnerability assessment. Check out our post on vulnerability scanning to learn more about why this is an important first step in determining your security needs and an essential tool for ongoing protection.
Next-Gen Endpoint and Firewall – Leverage the power of AI and protect your network with next-gen security. A next-gen firewall should be able to proactively protect against DDOS attacks, higher layer attacks and detect and block suspicious deviations in behavior. Combined with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) for continuous monitoring that identifies and notifies you of potential threats, and you’ve created a strong line of defense. If you’re interested in learning more, read our post about next-gen security and the power of AI.
Patch Management – Managing patches and proactively applying them can be a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be. Patch management software, such as Barramundi, ManageEngine or Shavlik can automate patching so your security staff can use their time elsewhere. These patch management solutions will notify you of patch releases and can schedule patch installation outside of peak usage hours to avoid network slowdowns or software outages.
Active Directory Auditing and Reporting – To secure and optimize Active Directory, leverage software that can inventory, analyze and provide reporting, so you know what’s in it. An active directory management tool, such as STEALTHbits, provides audit and reporting tools to help you configure and monitor AD. It also provides customizable reports on a scheduled basis or ad-hoc.
Security Information and Event Management – Also known as SIEM, this type of security tool provides visibility and notifies you of imminent threats in real-time. A SIEM solution will also manage and compile logs to identify threats, suggest remediation of known issues, analyze user and machine behavior to look for suspicious activity, network monitoring to identify threats as well as scan for known threats.
Weighing the Costs
While the security tools we’ve recommended can be expensive, their value far outweighs the cost of getting hacked. Learn from the headlines and the mistakes of others and protect your business from an embarrassing and expensive breach. Contact us to learn more.