11th February, 2022
In July 2020, CWT global paid out $4.5 million as a consequence of one of the most expensive ransomware attacks of all time. Businesses are changing as the world becomes ever more digital, and this change has created new challenging threats for enterprises across the globe. The CWT incident is just part of a much wider problem; cyber attacks cost the global economy an estimated $6 trillion per annum. Businesses, often with inadequately protected networks, find themselves common targets of cyber attacks.
What is a data breach? A data breach is an incident whereby sensitive or confidential files are accessed or stolen by unauthorised individuals. This malicious activity can leave enterprises with significant challenges such as:
- Compromised confidential information
- Losses of crucial data, especially if a proper backup system is not in place
- Financial loss - through lost assets or ransomware
- Clientele or employee information compromised
- Reputational damage; affecting stocks, customer trust and new business opportunities
Average cost of a cyber attack for businesses
Enterprise cybersecurity is fundamental to prevent incidents that can cost millions; precisely $3.86 million per business on average. Reducing this cost requires prevention, and prevention requires a more encompassing protection strategy beyond conventional network monitoring and endpoint security. As modern networks continue to grow increasingly complex, we recommend complete visibility and proactive threat hunting to effectively minimise the risk to enterprises.
The Need for Enterprise Network Security
What Does Network Visibility Offer Beyond Endpoint Security?
Network visibility is a complete view over your entire network. It’s the ability to see all the data traffic flow, access records and so forth. Seeing everything that goes on within your own network is crucial to protecting it.
Maximise your network visibility to detect threats
As an enterprise, you want to understand the ongoing operations within every level of your organisation. This same principle should apply to your cybersecurity strategy. Conventional enterprise network monitoring is no longer adequate in protecting your systems from modern, more intelligent threats. We recommend a thorough network visibility strategy, and the following tips to help you get started:
- Introduce a network monitoring capability to identify and monitor devices and users that access your network
- Look for patterns of traffic activity, highlighting anomalies
- Utilise network visibility technologies which include Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can thoroughly analyse your network and detect issues in real time, reducing the burden on analysts.
Analyse and protect your network
Visibility within your network provides your security teams with the opportunity to effectively discover risks, however, this is not possible without a thorough risk assessment.
Risk assessments are appropriate at many levels of business - from enterprise down to individual projects. The common denominator is an analysis of key weak points or potential hazards. Monitoring for and preventing live threats should therefore not be the only practice as part of your network visibility. Understanding what’s on your network and the prioritization of assets will allow your security team to respond more effectively to a breach.
Network Threat Hunting to Identify Threats
Relying solely on endpoint protection to prevent data breaches is not enough when considering that the current dwell time for threat actors is roughly 100+ days. Proactively hunting for threats allows enterprises to find those threats that are going undetected and evading endpoint security solutions. This is beneficial as it provides an extra layer of defence for threats and another opportunity to detect them. It’s easy to confuse threat hunting with network monitoring or threat intelligence. Threat hunting is often supported by threat intelligence, while findings from active prevention can be added to your intelligence. While network monitoring is a passive form of defence, threat hunting is active and designed to find threats that have evaded other defence systems.
Whilst the skills, tools and personnel required to carry out effective threat hunting can become expensive for the average organisation, it is possible to benefit from outsourcing this capability to managed service providers.
The cost of network visibility; is it worth it?
Maximising the visibility of your own business network is crucial to ensuring the security of your work, your employees and your data. With a thorough protection strategy you can significantly reduce the risk of serious breaches and ensure your business continues to operate and thrive in the ever more digital world. Network visibility not only contributes to security but to the business as a whole. By reducing the risk of a data breach, you instill trust in customers, improving reputation and protecting the data you retain.