IT Security Should Focus on Prevention, Not Response

For the last 14 years, IBM has released a Cost of Data Breach report. Widely accepted as the gold standard benchmark for research in the field of cybersecurity, the study is conducted by the Ponemon Institute, and covers the global impact of data breaches. In 2019, the report showed that data breaches are becoming more complex and impacting businesses over a longer period of time than in previous years, with businesses experiencing a data breach being impacted by the breach for upwards of 279 days, costing companies on average over $4.5 million. From 2006 to 2019, businesses have seen a 130% increase in the number of breaches. With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing organizations to work remotely, enterprise IT servers have never been more at risk. 

Historically, in the field of cybersecurity and data management, the approach has been to respond to incidents, rather than attempt to prevent them, as the complexity of the attacks often left the company’s IT departments defenseless. With malicious attacks being both the most costly and most prevalent sources of data breaches, cybersecurity and IT professionals have been shifting their approach for several years now towards solutions that allow them to focus on prevention. In this blog, Apex Technology discusses how advances in cybersecurity tools and improvements made possible by AI-driven advances and shifts to cloud-based systems allow IT professionals to leverage more powerful prevention-focused methods of protecting data.   


The Standard Cybersecurity Lifecycle Supports Prevention First

While most visual models of the standard cybersecurity lifecycle are portrayed as a wheel, professionals in the field will be the first to tell you that the process begins with two very key behaviors: identify and prevent. Every well-structured cybersecurity strategy should be built around these core two concepts: being informed of the types of threats and building an information technology infrastructure that protects against known threats at a foundational level. 

This isn’t to say that cybersecurity specialists are arguing that taking this prevention-focused approach will be the ultimate solution or protection from attacks. The complexity and increasingly powerful attacks being used by threat actors almost guarantee that some form of breach could be possible at any given time, as technologies and software are constantly being updated and upgraded and vulnerabilities might be present in updates or upgrades. However, by building a system focused and designed to detect and prevent state-of-the-art cyber attacks, you can then build in a more robust detection and containment strategy into the back-end, knowing that attacks that make it that far are truly dangerous to your organization.  

Prevention is Difficult for Non-IT Companies to Achieve

There is a reason that businesses are increasingly outsourcing IT infrastructure, data management, and cybersecurity to managed IT service providers. The speed and level at which technology is constantly evolving and advancing would be impossible for small and medium businesses with limited resources to manage on their own. By outsourcing to offsite providers, much of the security concerns are also passed over to vendors and managed cybersecurity service agreements address in-depth the cybersecurity requirements for the type of data being managed and include contingency planning in the event of a data breach. As managed service providers take on increasing levels of liability, it’s in their own best interests to build and leverage technology infrastructure and cloud-based technologies focused first on extreme levels of prevention, with robust detection features built into the systems themselves in order to adhere to the cybersecurity lifecycle standards. Given that the only services they are focused on are IT and data management and protection, managed service providers are better suited and equipped to achieve the protection-first approach necessary for a successful and robust security strategy.  

Prevention Can Save You $1.4M Per Attack, But Ranks Third in Funding In Cybersecurity Strategies. Let’s Change That Together!

According to another study performed by Ponemon, this one in conjunction with deep-learning company Deep Instinct, shows that on average, organizations focus a majority of their budgets on containing and mitigating the impact of successful attacks. However, think about it from a cost perspective. The study shows that a single phishing attack could cost over $830,000 in associated costs. If funding in the budget was shifted, it would only cost the organization 18% of their losses to prevent the attack from ever taking place. 

This prevention-focused approach is our preferred method of securing and managing the IT infrastructure of our Charlotte-based clients here at Apex Technology.  We understand and work with our clients to ensure we’re investing the necessary resources towards prevention in order to minimize not only monetary losses but also to prevent a long-term loss of business and irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation that a cybersecurity data breach can cause. For more about our managed cybersecurity services and to discuss a service plan, reach out to our team today.