The Role of Cybersecurity Service Providers in Preventing Data Breaches

251

A data breach can lead to a variety of damaging consequences. In addition to losing sensitive information, it can result in financial losses and reputational damage. To avoid these issues, organizations should employ multiple cybersecurity strategies. This includes regular penetration testing, dark web monitoring, and architecture design reviews.

Identifying and Preventing Vulnerabilities

Keeping data and information secure requires more than a username and password. A successful cyber attack can result in stolen customer information, financial losses, and a halt to business operations. Companies should consider partnering with a cybersecurity service provider to prevent these attacks. These providers are responsible for testing systems for vulnerabilities, monitoring devices and networks for suspicious activity, and updating the company’s security protocols. The CSSP should be well-versed in your industry’s regulations, including protecting confidential and private information. They should also have experience preventing insider attacks involving employees sharing company data with third parties for their financial gain. Many cyber attacks start by finding a weakness in software listed in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list. These vulnerabilities are reported to the manufacturer, who then creates a security patch that eliminates the weakness. However, many organizations must push these updates through their work environments, allowing cybercriminals to exploit them. Reliable attack surface management solutions can quickly identify and patch these vulnerabilities.

Educating and Training Employees

In addition to the security systems, tools, and protocols, cybersecurity service providers must educate employees on recognizing and avoiding cyber threats. This is a significant undertaking and requires a holistic approach considering current business applications, future technology infrastructure plans, and work environment (on-site, remote, or hybrid). The truth is that no matter how many firewalls and other protective measures are in place, people remain a significant source of vulnerability. These human elements are often accidental; for example, an employee inadvertently downloads a malicious file using a personal email or accesses confidential files through an unsecured Wi-Fi connection at a coffee shop. Other times, they are the result of malicious intent./.

Monitoring and Alerting

Cybersecurity service providers monitor your systems and devices, provide periodic vulnerability assessments, and ensure all patches are applied. They also help employees understand the importance of recognizing and responding to cyber threats. Metrics-based conditions or threshold violations trigger alerts. They aim to bring human attention to situations that warrant consideration by someone, and they should include context so engineers can quickly understand and troubleshoot problems. Some alerts can be automated and trigger programmatic responses, for example, automatically restarting a specific application that has experienced a crash. Alerts must be configured so that only the most critical situations are triggered. Otherwise, response teams become desensitized and begin to ignore essential issues. To prevent this, the most effective monitoring systems regularly review alert thresholds to adjust and avoid unactionable notifications. They also collect feedback on alert “white noise” to optimize alerting strategies and reduce the frequency of false positives.

Remediation

Data remediation is a process of cleansing, organizing, and migrating information to a secure environment for optimized use. It helps to avoid the financial costs, loss of business, and reputational damage that can result from a successful cyberattack. Remediation is necessary for companies, as storing all data in high-security vaults is inefficient. For example, if a company collects information about its employees, keeping that information after the employee leaves would not be beneficial. Remediation is the best way to delete irrelevant data and reduce storage costs. Mediation is also essential to deal with external laws and internal policy changes. For example, examining new data is critical to ensure compliance with regulatory authorities if a merger and acquisition occur. Additionally, it is a good practice to cleanse data as close to the source as possible to benefit all processes and systems that rely on it. This prevents unnecessary and unused data from being stored and allows for improved compliance.