In today’s indiscriminate and ever-changing threat landscape, it is no longer a matter of if an organisation will fall victim to cybercrime, but rather a question of when, how frequently and how severe the breach will be.
IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach (CODB) 2020 report states that the average cost of a data breach in Australia is approximately $3 million AUD. This accounts for reparative financial costs, operational and business expenses, and reputational damages. However, compliance penalties can also cause the overall cost of a breach to skyrocket. In February of 2018, the Mandatory Data Breach Notification legislation commenced, requiring all entities under the Privacy Act to report eligible data breaches. If an organisation fails to meet their reporting requirements they could face an added $1.8 million fine on top of the aforementioned costs.
All organisations – whether subject to this legislation or not – need to be prepared to protect and mitigate risk when it occurs.
Proactively securing your enterprise does not have to be a complex or daunting task. A Breach Readiness Assessment is a strategic means of evaluating and uplifting your security posture, and further, a straightforward way to assess response capabilities.
What is a Breach Readiness Assessment?
During a Breach Readiness Assessment, an expert from the Digital Forensics and Incident Response team determines:
- The organisation’s current governance on incident response;
- Their ability to detect and respond to incidents;
- Gaps in visibility that could be affecting overall security; and
- Ways to improve security posture.
This typically requires a 4-day review of the company’s current security framework, including log management, Incident Response (IR) Plans and Playbooks, network architecture, credential management and more. The specialist then provides a prioritised and actionable list of recommendations as a basis off which the organisation can improve their security defences.
This assessment is a great contributing factor in the success and precision of an IR investigation. IR hinges on having complete visibility over all systems within the affected environment and ensuring that solutions are in place to collect and retain all relevant evidence.
Preparedness is a key weapon in any organisation's security arsenal.
Failure to evaluate the people, policies, processes, and technologies within a security framework could cause a great deal of financial loss and increased susceptibility to threat. The CODB 2020 notes incident preparedness as the highest cost saving factor during the past 12 months – saving businesses an average of $2.8 million AUD. Understanding where improvement is needed most as well as which areas are adequately secured allows for better distribution and reallocation of funds. In this sense, organisations can implement technical resources in a more strategic way and avoid overspending on unnecessary factors.
7 Benefits of conducting Breach Readiness Assessments:
1. Garnering Industry Expertise:
Achieving cybersecurity excellence begins with expert knowledge. A Breach Readiness Assessment is performed by a skilled security professional who provides an unbiased and well-informed view of areas that need to be uplifted.
2. Reducing Detection and Response Times:
The main purpose of reviewing the security environment in its entirety – and further, implementing the correct controls – is increasing detection and response capabilities. Businesses that quickly detect suspicious behaviour are more likely to respond promptly and avoid breaches.
3. Effective Incident Response can Minimise Damages:
When a company reduces their incident resolution time, they are minimising the consequences and required remediation efforts. Every moment a threat is not contained and addressed means that a cybercriminal has more time to wreak havoc. Having the right knowledge and tools to find and address these issues will mean less delay in containment and elimination, and further success in dealing with future attacks.
4. Making Preparedness a Work Culture:
Evaluating and improving an organisation’s ability to detect and respond to a breach involves not only investing in the right technology, but in educating and thereby uplifting people’s security competencies. Ensuring that the right people are using the right resources and following security best practices also relieves some of the burden from the IT security team.
5. Adds to Compliance Efforts:
While compliance is not a direct result of improved security, it is made more attainable by actively reducing risk and ensuring data is protected and handled properly.
6. Can Give You a Competitive Edge:
Greater preparedness and increased security also do not mean a decrease in breaches. However, companies with more sophisticated security response will be more successful in containing and eliminating threats – thereby minimising the stain of security incompetency and brand damage.
After conducting a readiness assessment, the organisation is provided with a set of personalised recommendations based off industry expertise. This insight allows for more strategic consideration and redistribution of funds towards avenues that will enhance security defences and provide a greater return by preventing breaches.