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Mitigating the Risks of Expensive Data Breaches: How Attack Surface Management Enhances Data Breach Prevention with 5 Effective Measures

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Organizations are struggling with a critical issue: the speed of their response to and containment of data breaches is not keeping up with the increasing security threats they face. An effective attack surface management (ASM) solution can address this problem.

According to the Cost of a Data Breach 2023 Report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach reached a record high of USD 4.45 million this year. Additionally, it took 277 days to identify and contain a data breach.

Due to the evolving sophistication of cybercriminal attack tactics, there is a growing need to expedite the detection, response, and neutralization of security breaches.

The role of attack surface management in data breach containment

Despite implementing various cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data, many organizations find themselves in a constant race against time to bridge the gap between the occurrence of a data breach and its effective containment. As data leaks on the dark web continue to make headlines, organizations face increased pressure to strengthen their breach containment strategies.

Integrating an effective attack surface management tool into your security strategy can significantly help mitigate the risks of data breaches. In fact, according to the Cost of a Data Breach study, organizations that deployed an ASM solution were able to identify and contain data breaches in 75% less time compared to those without ASM. Organizations with ASM were also able to contain breaches 83 days faster than those without.

Figure 1 — Comparison of the mean time to identify and contain a data breach for organizations with and without an attack surface management solution

5 ways IBM Security Randori Recon helps build resilience to data breaches

Businesses can proactively reduce vulnerabilities to various cyberattacks like ransomware, malware, phishing, compromised credentials, and unauthorized access by actively managing and reducing their attack surface. IBM Security® Randori Recon, an ASM solution, plays a vital role in your data protection strategy.

1. Finding unmanaged systems and high-value assets

An inventory of network-connected assets only represents a fraction of what is actually present. Shadow IT and orphaned IT conceal more workloads, servers, applications, and other assets from security teams than they realize. These unknown assets expose organizations to risk as hackers expand their reconnaissance beyond the known inventory.

Randori Recon conducts continuous asset discovery and risk prioritization from an adversarial perspective to help find and secure high-value assets that are often targeted in attacks. It identifies organizational exposures, including IPv4, IPv6, cloud, and IoT assets, with high accuracy and minimal impact, reducing false positives and alert fatigue.

2. Identifying exploitable vulnerabilities and misconfigurations

Poor visibility into your external risk posture can prolong the attack remediation process. Manual processes often make it impossible to find misconfigured management panels, expired access permissions, and other unexpected vulnerabilities.

Automated ASM tools like Randori Recon provide organizations with a comprehensive view of their entire digital attack surface. They uncover potential entry points, including attack vectors that can bypass antivirus, firewall, or other security defenses, which cybercriminals may exploit.

3. Prioritizing your cyber risk

While all vulnerabilities are important, not all of them are immediately dangerous or likely to be compromised during a breach of your digital perimeter. Focusing solely on patch management can become a never-ending game.

Randori Recon helps identify attack patterns and techniques that real-world attackers are more likely to exploit. It flags high-value assets using a risk-based prioritization engine, providing a ranked list of the most risky targets for organizations to focus on. This allows organizations to prioritize vulnerabilities based on severity and potential business impact.

4. Ensuring adherence to security processes

Security processes often lag behind as organizations grow or adapt to the needs of a remote workforce. Continuous attack surface monitoring provides insight into whether security processes are keeping pace with the expanding attack surface.

Randori Recon offers real-time visibility into the application and uniform application of security processes. This helps organizations strengthen various layers of defense, such as network security, endpoint security, and access controls, reducing the risk of successful data breaches.

5. Providing remediation guidance

Randori Recon suggests remediation steps to help improve cyber resilience. It provides in-product guidance on addressing specific vulnerabilities and detailed strategies to reduce overall exposure.

With this enhanced knowledge, organizations can allocate resources more efficiently and focus on critical vulnerabilities that pose the highest risk of a data breach.

Best practices for data breach prevention

To enhance cyber resilience, it is crucial to prioritize security in every stage of software and hardware development. Strengthening data breach prevention strategies can be achieved by:

  • Safeguarding assets with a zero-trust approach and understanding potential exposure to relevant cyberattacks
  • Conducting extensive testing, assessments, and simulations from an attacker’s perspective to identify and patch vulnerabilities proactively
  • Implementing multifactor authentication and strong passwords to protect personal data and prevent identity theft
  • Training employees to increase security awareness and enable informed decision-making in protecting sensitive information
  • Maintaining offline data backups to prevent data loss and facilitate quick recovery in emergencies
  • Regularly rehearsing incident response plans and establishing a team well-versed in protocols to reduce costs and breach containment time

Mitigate data breach costs with Randori Recon

An effective ASM solution like Randori Recon can help businesses identify and mitigate potential risks before malicious actors can exploit them. The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Security Randori study, conducted by Forrester Consulting in 2023, found an 85% reduction in losses due to external attacks, totaling $1.5 million. By reducing the exposure time of assets, financial and brand impacts from attacks can be avoided.

While security measures should extend beyond attack surface management, incorporating practices such as encryption, strong access controls, and employee training, proactive management of the attack surface significantly enhances security posture and reduces the likelihood and impact of data breaches.

Explore IBM Randori Recon

Director, Product Marketing

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