With Cyber Attacks On the Rise, Here's How Companies Can Mitigate Their Risks

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What can be done about the increasing frequency and severity of corporate cyber attacks and security breaches? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by IBM Security, Outthink security threats with intelligence, integration, and expertise, on Quora:

Michelle Alvarez, IBM Threat Researcher and Editor:

“Though posed several years ago, this question is still, sadly, relevant today. In fact, according to one report, the number of records that were exposed in the first half of 2017 is higher than the number for all of 2016. And at over 4 billion, the number of records leaked in 2016 was already more than double that of both previous years combined.

This question also potentially targets multiple audiences: government, law enforcement, corporations and individuals. Corporations can be further divided into the vendors of software, devices, etc. and the organizations or consumers of those products. Everyone has a role to play in cyber security. Since delving into recommendations for each of these groups could spawn several lengthy articles, I’ll focus on what I know best and that’s talking about what corporations can do to mitigate risks and reduce costs of a data breach. After all, the “severity” of an attack or breach often has a direct correlation to the costs involved to respond to and remediate the breach.

Fortunately, there’s already a study out there which clearly outlines the impact of 20 factors that may increase or decrease the cost of a data breach. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, sponsored by IBM, the number one way to reduce the cost of a data breach is with an incident response (IR) team. The phrase ‘time is money’ is never more applicable when a breach occurs and not having an effective Cyber Security Incident Response Plan (CSIRP) in place could result in a lot of wasted time and money. Some of the factors that may contribute to increased costs include third party involvement in a breach and extensive cloud migration at the time of the breach.

While corporations may not be able to reduce the frequency of attacks, fueled largely by the rise in organized cybercrime and success of cyber extortion such as ransomware attacks, they can certainly reduce the impact of these attacks. Governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) solutions can help organizations improve their ability to detect and escalate a data breach.”

Any information IBM provides is not legal advice.

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