Cyber Attacks Are On the Rise — Here's How Your Business Can Continuously Prepare for Threats In an era marked by escalating cyber threats and increasing cost of data breaches, the traditional castle-and-moat cybersecurity approach falls short.

By Apu Pavithran

Key Takeaways

  • The financial burden of cyberattacks extends far beyond immediate remediation costs.
  • Minimizing the impact of breaches and optimizing incident response significantly reduces the overall economic toll of cyber incidents.
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In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats, the traditional castle-and-moat approach is proving increasingly inadequate. The global average data breach cost in 2023 was $4.45 million. Compared with 2020, this is a 15% increase. Organizations must fortify their defenses with proactive and comprehensive strategies as cyber adversaries grow more sophisticated. In this era of uncertainty, the key to resilience lies in continuous monitoring.

Related: The World is Doubling Down on Cybersecurity — Here's What Business Leaders Should Know

Understanding the value of continuous monitoring

At its core, continuous monitoring is not just a tool but a mindset — a proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. It transcends the reactive measures of the past, emphasizing continuous data collection, analysis and correlation. It is also not a one-time event but a perpetual vigilance system that allows organizations to stay one step ahead of cyber adversaries.

The primary benefit, of course, is identifying threats early on. Furthermore, employing advanced analytics and machine learning helps go beyond signature-based detection and recognize anomalies that may indicate potential threats. This proactive stance is crucial in the dynamic landscape of cyber threats, where speed is often the differentiator between containment and catastrophe.

When breaches occur, and they inevitably will, the monitoring system plays a pivotal role in isolating compromised systems and containing malware. This containment strategy limits the blast radius of an attack, preventing the spread of malicious entities within the network. In the aftermath of a breach, the ability to swiftly and effectively mitigate the impact is a testament to the resilience afforded by continuous monitoring.

Related: 4 Ways Continuous Learning Will Make You and Your Business Unstoppable

Knowing is half the battle, especially in the realm of cybersecurity. Continuous monitoring gives organizations valuable insights into attacker tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Organizations can strengthen their security controls and create an adaptive defense architecture by understanding how adversaries operate.

Beyond resilience, in an era of stringent regulations and compliance standards, monitoring is crucial in demonstrating adherence to industry guidelines. By providing continuous visibility into security postures and monitoring activities, organizations can proactively address compliance requirements, avoiding the pitfalls of non-compliance.

Finally, the financial burden of cyberattacks extends far beyond immediate remediation costs. Minimizing the impact of breaches and optimizing incident response significantly reduces the overall economic toll of cyber incidents. It transforms cybersecurity from a necessary expense into a strategic investment that safeguards data and the bottom line.

Executing continuous monitoring in your organization

To offer complete visibility, a comprehensive monitoring plan should consider every endpoint, network, and software your company utilizes. As such, the first step is assessing every asset within the corporate network. However, not all assets are equal. Prioritizing monitoring efforts is essential to protect the most valuable information. Allowing organizations to focus their resources where they matter most helps create a targeted defense that fortifies the digital crown jewels.

A monitoring architecture should also include an incident response plan. Due to its ability to allow organizations to record, respond, and learn from cyberattacks, incident reporting is essential. Facilitating the development of well-defined incident response procedures ensures that organizations can react swiftly and decisively to mitigate potential damage when a threat is detected.

Selecting the most suitable technology and monitoring tools is a crucial choice. To have complete visibility, the monitoring architecture established must account for every attack vector that can be used to launch a cyberattack. Considering the expanding nature of today's attack surface, choosing the right tools is paramount.

For instance, most enterprises start with a Security Information and Event Monitoring Tool (SIEM), followed by Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution. SIEM searches for patterns that make it easier for security teams to recognize attacks, breaches, and technical problems. An EDR, on the other hand, collects data from each endpoint and uses AI to determine threats.

While on the outside, both SIEM and EDR offer visibility, EDRs focus on endpoints, and SIEM covers the entire network. However, EDR offers deeper capabilities regarding incident response, allowing security teams to fight back. UEMs, on the other hand, utilize their remote capabilities to keep track of device compliance. Furthermore, non-compliant devices, once identified, can be flagged and managed remotely. With new national and international regulations emerging, the consequences of non-compliance are grave indeed.

The chosen tools must seamlessly integrate into the existing cybersecurity ecosystem, whether it's network monitoring, endpoint monitoring or threat intelligence platforms. For example, selecting a SIEM with data loss prevention or a UEM with patch management capabilities saves IT teams from managing multiple platforms.

Finally, let's say you have implemented a reliable architecture. This, however, is not the end. There are always fresh risks to be aware of in the evolving field of cybersecurity. To respond to changing threats, continual improvement and refining are necessary. Regular reviews and updates ensure that the watchtower remains vigilant and resilient in the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.

Last but not least — your employees. An issue with complex tools like SIEMs is that they require skilled security professionals to manage. Beyond security professionals, each employee must be updated on the latest cyber threats and attack vectors through regular workshops and training sessions. Knowing how criminals breach security will help them notice the minute details and signs that could help them identify a breach. Moreover, it also impacts how well they respond to a cybersecurity dilemma.

Going forward

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, the significance of continuous security monitoring continues to grow. It is not an exaggeration to portray it as a vital tool for businesses looking to safeguard their assets and ensure business continuity — in fact, doing so is a strategic requirement. The agility and responsiveness afforded by continuous monitoring are the building blocks of a resilient cybersecurity strategy in an age where digital disruption is the norm.

Apu Pavithran

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO

Apu Pavithran is the founder and CEO of Hexnode. Recognized in the IT management community as a consultant, speaker, and thought leader, Apu is passionate about entrepreneurship and spends significant time working with startups and empowering young entrepreneurs.

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