Businesses increasingly rely on digital technology to compete, grow, and deliver a superior customer experience. As Gartner aptly posited in a 2019 report, “IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business.”
The Technology Paradox
While advances in technology are a key driver for economic growth, they also correlate to a higher incidence of cyber attacks. Leading trends such as e-commerce, mobile payments, cloud computing, Big Data and analytics, IoT, AI, machine learning, and social media dramatically increase the attack surface, increasing cyber risk proportionally.
Adding insult to injury, data volume continues to grow at a pace of 40-50% year over year, according to IDC, with projections for 61% growth by 2025 to 175 zettabytes. This explosive growth in data volume and complexity complicates the need to securely manage it.
Further, shadow IT, or technology that is not under the purview of the IT department, also contributes to increasing a company’s attack surface. The increasing IT talent shortage may increase the amount of shadow IT, as individual departments introduce new technology. Since this technology isn’t under the supervision of the IT department, it increases the attack surface and potential system weaknesses. Shadow technology may not have been screened for cybersecurity in the first place, and if updates are missed, they could leave the technology vulnerable to attack.
Risks and Impacts
While recent high profile breaches may create the perception that enterprises are more likely to be the targets of cyber attacks, given the prominence of such attacks in the news. In fact, nearly half of all cyber attacks are committed against small businesses, according to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance (Cisco Cybersecurity Report 2018).
The financial impact of cybersecurity incidents can be devastating: the average cost of a data breach tops $3.62 million for an enterprise according to IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019”. In addition, the average time to detect and contain a breach is 279 days, affording extended time for attackers to move around in systems and cause exponential damage, exacerbating the cost and impact. For a small to mid-sized company, the cost of a breach averages a staggering $2.2 million, according to the 2017 Ponemon Report.
As we’ve seen with high-profile attacks, a cybersecurity breach doesn’t just have an effect or impact the bottom line, it also deeply impacts customer trust. Between the crippling financial impact and the effect on your reputation, cybersecurity attacks can devastate a business. 60 percent of small companies that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within 6 months (Cisco 2018).
Is Your Company Prepared for a Cybersecurity Attack?
Despite the significance of cybersecurity risk, an astounding 73% of companies aren’t prepared for a cyber attack, according to the 2019 Hiscox Cyber-readiness Report. The same report from Hiscox found that 53% of companies experienced a cyber attack in the last year and 27% of companies experienced four or more attacks. Experiencing a cyber attack or data breach can be costly. And sadly, 70% of attacks go unchecked, according to WeLiveSecurity.
Even if budgeted headcount allowed for a talented team of cybersecurity experts, attracting, recruiting and hiring such talent is an increasing challenge. According to Gartner, the market is not meeting the demand for experienced professionals in cybersecurity. In addition, Gartner notes that the IT talent shortage jumped from third to first place as the emerging risk for organizations worldwide in 2019.
What makes the management of these data systems complex and high-risk? In addition to the challenges of managing Big Data, IT teams need to stay current on new and emerging technologies. According to Gartner, “Skill requirements to keep up, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, API and services platform design and data science, are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”
Additional Challenges IT Leaders Face
- Small-to-midsize businesses often lack adequate budget or flexibility to hire “jack of all trades” IT specialists or highly-specialized cybersecurity engineers
- Effective cybersecurity management is tedious and leads to burnout and turnover of talent
- Threats change constantly and finding the best possible tools and expertise is an ongoing challenge and a drain on resources
- Managing systems amid an explosion of data and emerging technologies in a high risk, $1.5 trillion cybercrime environment places additional pressure on keeping data accessible to drive business value
Mitigating the Risk: Security Monitoring As a Managed Service
Increasingly, organizations with limited in-house expertise in IT management and cybersecurity are outsourcing security monitoring to managed services providers. According to a recent IDC survey, close to 50% of respondents turn to a managed security service provider to close the skills and staffing gap and to provide the needed 24/7 support for peace of mind and security.
TBConsulting’s Cybersecurity Solutions portfolio provides complete visibility into the status of your systems and processes. Upon deployment, business disruptions are minimized, systems stay ahead of new threats and vulnerabilities, and users enjoy a seamless experience. In addition, the “crown jewels” of your business - your business information - is kept safe, secure and accessible.
TBC’s security monitoring offering manages IT assets for security anomalies, investigates alerts and communicates actionable responses to you (or your team), leading to improved response time and reduced risk of successful attacks or intrusions.
Additional benefits include:
- Reduced risk of attacks
- Improved response time if an attack occurs
- Enhanced compliance with regulatory mandates
- Mitigated damage caused by security incidents
- Proof to auditors that due diligence is being conducted with regard to monitoring/response
If you’re unsure how to prevent the next cyber attack against your company, learn more about TBC’s managed cybersecurity offering, which gives you enterprise-grade security solutions from a trusted partner.