For organizations that suffer a cyber security breach, the consequences can be catastrophic. This can range from loss of reputation and confidence resulting in an impact to the bottom line. As cyber criminals and hackers ramp up their attacks, they are turning to advanced technologies including artificial intelligence to confuse users and gain access to sensitive data.

A recent survey of over 3,000 cyber security professionals around the globe found that almost half of organizations suffered a data breach in the last two years. The majority of those were breached because of a vulnerability that had a patch available however it was not installed until after the breach. This is a perfect example of why more effective vulnerability response is needed so IT departments or managed IT services providers can close these attacks before a hacker strikes the network.

In the study, they investigated why the other 52% were successful at avoiding the breaches. These organizations were much more successful at detecting vulnerabilities and proactive patching in a timely manner. Hiring more people does not mean you will have better security. The big issue comes down to how organizations, IT departments, and managed IT service providers struggle with proactive patch management due to manual processes or they cannot prioritize what needs to be patched.

The quicker you start, the lower the risk. Cyber data breach rates are very high. With the emergence of artificial intelligence AI is fuelling cyber threats with a major increase in the volume, speed, and effectiveness of cyber attacks even further. Organizations cannot rely on simply hiring due to a talent shortage. Security teams need to learn from organizations that avoid breaches and focus on resolving the issues identified in this report.

Based on industry best practices, here are five key recommendations that provide a road map to reduce the risk of a cyber security breach:

  1. Take an inventory of vulnerability response capabilities: Organizations need to take two key capabilities of organizations in to consideration in order to avoid a cyber security breach. You need to detect vulnerabilities and patch them in a timely manner. This includes problematic areas, such as cross-department coordination, lack of asset and application visibility. You need to score these areas by estimating the existing risk based on the delays they introduce into the vulnerability patching process.
  2. Accelerate and attach the easy stuff: Start with the basic that you can address quickly. If the cyber security team or managed IT services provide MSP don’t scan for vulnerabilities, they need to make it a top priority to acquire and deploy a vulnerability scanner. If they do scan, they need to make sure they are doing both external and internal scans, including authenticated scans. Prioritization is essential as well as understanding the business importance of the affected system. By integrating threat intelligence, organizations can factor in whether a vulnerability has been weaponized or is part of an active campaign.
  3. Eliminate data barriers and flatten security and IT: Eliminate barriers and create common ground combining vulnerability and IT in a single platform. This is the building blocks for more advanced capabilities, such as prioritizing vulnerabilities and routing vulnerabilities to the IT department or managed IT services provider for patching.
  4. Definition is everything: Define vulnerability response and processes so you can automate as much as possible. The more you repeat your vulnerability response processes, the more you increase accuracy. This therefore reduces risk and eliminates rework or open gaps in your security. Workflow and process automation adds to this by increases efficiencies, accelerates patching and reduces staff requirements. You need to automated routing, status tracking, measurable SLAs, and automated escalations. Ensure your cyber security team and managed IT services providers MSP have a shared view of these processes and procedures.
  5. Talent and partners: Organizations need to retain talent and hire reputable managed IT services providers MSP that will be focusing on your environment proactively. Creating the right environment is the best way to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. Managed services providers allow for internal barriers to be eliminated and well as create optimized processes. The will also automate work that will dramatically increase productivity and eliminate frustration.

Cyber criminals and hackers are dominating the news and headlines. They are becoming faster and more intelligent by expanding their tools, arsenal, cyber-attacks plans. This is making everyone double their efforts to keep data and networks secure by using proactive IT management.

The realization is most victims being breached is happening because of unpatched known software vulnerabilities. There is a lack of ineffective vulnerability response and it is being used as a critical weapon in the cyber security arsenal. High-performing cyber security teams and managed IT services providers consistently outperform other organizations because they detect vulnerabilities quickly and patch them in a proactive timely manner.

Unfortunately many cyber security teams are struggling to build these capabilities and looking to managed IT services providers to help fill in the gap. Many are disadvantaged by manual processes including manual tools and data. Most don’t have the time or resources they need to patch in a proactive timely manner. As a result, these organizations suffer significantly breach rates, putting their business and customers at risk.

The good news is that these barriers can be removed by automating routine processes and taking care of basic items. Cyber security teams as well as managed IT services providers can significantly reduce the risk of a cyber security breach. Contact BrickHost today to help your business reduce the risks of cyber security breaches.