We often see reports regarding the staggering number of #networksecurity breaches in Europe and around the world. The numbers keep going up. For example, IT Governance UK reports that there have been 694 reported data breaches so far in 2023 accounting for 612,290,598 stolen records. The number of attacks, however, is only part of the story. What is the economic impact of these breaches?
The cost of cyber attacks on organizations is staggering. Embroker reports that the average cost of a single ransomware attack is US$1.85 million. Globally, cybercrime will cost companies an estimated US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025. In the UK, companies pay an average of £3.4 million for data breach incidents according to IBM Security’s Cost of a Data Breach Report. The most common types of security attacks include phishing, stolen devices and credential theft. Organizations can reduce their attack risk and associated costs by understanding these types of attacks and taking action to shrink the threat landscape.
The Cyber Security Cube
John McCumbers developed the CyberSecurity Cube. This tool helps companies build strong security practices and procedures to protect against network attacks. The CyberSecurity cube is a three dimensional depiction of the Principles of Cybersecurity, States of Data and Cybersecurity Safeguards. Each dimension identifies what organizations must address in order to build a comprehensive data protection strategy.
Critical Information Characteristics-First Dimension
This dimension covers how companies treat information that is entrusted to them. These same traits can be found in data privacy regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S. and General Data Protection Law (GDPL) in Brazil. These regulations require data to be held confidential and that companies take steps that prevent unauthorized disclosure. Data must also have integrity, maintaining consistency and accuracy throughout its life cycle. Data is useless if not available. Therefore, authorized users must also be able to access systems and utilize data as necessary.
Information States-Second Dimension
Data can take different forms so protection must be focused and flexible. First: Data can be stored and static, sitting on a drive. Stored data is likely the simplest option to secure by protecting access to the storage device. Second: Data can be in motion during the process of transmission from point A to point B. Data in motion can be tricky due to the number of potential access points between point A and point B. Third: Data can be in the process of development, modification or collaboration. This type of data is also challenging. There can be multiple points of input during development and also during collaboration. Access must be protected in all its forms.
Information States-Third Dimension
This dimension covers methods, policies and procedures that can be utilized in order to protect data in all its various states. Technologies such as VPNs, firewalls, content filtering and others can help protect data from a malicious breach. Education and training, particularly for non-IT functions, can help make it more difficult for bad actors to gain access to passwords and credentials. Training should be consistent and ongoing, thus shrinking the potential threat of unsuspecting employees inadvertently providing access to files and systems.
Security Tools to Protect Data
Not all cyber attacks are the same. There are many different paths criminals may take to access data. Some include planting malicious software, phishing, DDoS, ransomware and others. Full protection often requires specialized tools to help protect network infrastructure and information from all types of attacks.
Companies like Network Critical help organizations fight against breaches by providing safe and reliable access to security tools that connect and protect active links. Network TAPs provide fail-safe access ports to connect firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection devices, data loss prevention and other specialized security tools. There are many different types of TAPs that can serve a variety of networks and tools. Intelligent TAPs, like the SmartNA family from Network Critical offer a sophisticated set of features that can help IT managers manage budget while securing confidential data. For more complex networks Packet Brokers are used to manage the large number of security tools that may be deployed. There are even hybrid TAPs to provide the safety of TAPs and traffic management of Packet Brokers in a single, space saving unit.
While it may be fiscally challenging to deploy all the necessary security tools on every link, features like port mapping, filtering, packet manipulation and aggregation allow users to provide broad protection within a limited budget. Options are available for both copper and optical links. There are even models that provide conversion from copper to optical or optical to copper for networks in transition.
Many of the Network Critical tools are designed to safely connect other specialized tools to network links. However, the company has also designed an innovative security tool that can directly protect data with a unique deny-all strategy that requires only users previously authorized by a set policy to access network information. The policy can not be hacked or changed except by an authorized administrator. This security solution is called INVIKTUS. It is invisible to the network and, therefore, invisible to hackers. One can not hack what one can not see.
In addition to Network Critical’s broad portfolio of security, access and performance solutions, they support a robust network of technology partners whose complementary products work hand in glove to provide strong data security. One such partner is Imperva, a leading provider of cyber security solutions that protect business-critical data and applications. The company’s SecureSphere, Incapsula and Skyfence product lines enable organizations to discover assets and risks, protect information wherever it lives - in the cloud and on prem and to comply with regulations. The combination of Network Critical and Imperva solutions can provide strong protection for data in all its dimensions, whether in development, stored, in collaboration or in motion.
Link speeds continue to accelerate and Artificial Intelligence is becoming better at fooling network users. Bad actors are becoming more sophisticated in the technologies they are using to steal data. It is critical that organizations understand the states of data and stay ahead of the hackers using all available tools. For more information about data protection or to discuss new defence ideas with an expert go to www.networkcritical.com/support.