Cyber Security Incident Response: The ROI of a Solid Disaster Recovery Strategy

Cyber Security Incident Response: The ROI of a Solid Disaster Recovery StrategyMany organizations place disaster recovery on the back burner because they consider it to be too big of an expense. Why allocate money toward “what if” scenarios when those funds can be put toward more immediate business needs, like sales and marketing? The problem is, treating cyber security incident response and disaster recovery as an afterthought or unnecessary luxury in an attempt to save money may very well end up costing your company a lot more than you may realize. In fact, some research indicates that upwards of 25% of businesses that close due to unforeseen events never reopen.

Even a temporary downtime can be incredibly costly, with average hourly losses ranging from $50,000 up to millions of dollars. Shifting perspective from expense to investment by identifying ROI can improve how disaster recovery is viewed and increase adoption, which means a safer, more secure business operation.

First and foremost, you can’t calculate the value of having a solid cyber security incident response and disaster recovery strategy until you first understand what a loss could potentially cost. Specifically, by determining what costs and losses are acceptable, you can then begin to establish acceptable recovery parameters. This will include a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) as well as a Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

Your defined RTO should indicate the maximum amount of downtime your organization is willing to tolerate. Your RPO should help gauge how much data your business can comfortably afford to lose, measured in seconds, minutes, hours and/or days. Typically a different RTO and RPO values will be set for each system or business process, based on importance. For instance, you would likely set higher objectives for systems for which downtime would likely have the lowest business impact, such as email servers, versus mission-critical systems that directly impact revenue.

Assigning priorities to each proposed scenario can be handled using a “cold” versus “hot” scale, with higher RTO and RPO scenarios requiring a cold solution and those will lower tolerances requiring hot capabilities. For example, systems that can withstand a downtime of 24 hours or more without making a significant impact would be categorized as cold while systems with an RTO of 15 minutes or less would require a much more urgent – or hot – response.

The final step in the process is to officially calculate the expected ROI considering the following factors:

  • Unprotected downtime (amount of time required to restore operations without a formal disaster recovery plan in place)
  • Protected downtime (amount of time to recovery with a DR solution in place)
  • Hourly revenue (amount of annual revenue divided by the total number of working hours in a year)

By multiplying both downtime scenarios by the hourly revenue you can determine the potential loss associated with each. The difference between the two represents the loss that can be avoided by implementing a documented disaster recovery strategy.

From there, the formula for calculating the overall ROI of DR is as follows:

ROI = (Avoided loss – cost of disaster recovery solution/disaster recovery solution cost x 100%)

It’s important to point out that given today’s digital landscape, the risks associated with potential online security breaches and the subsequent downtime they can cause should play an integral role in the overall disaster recovery policy. Specifically, implementing a strong cyber security incident response plan that features automation as a central tool for monitoring, evaluating and addressing incoming incidents can help avoid potential losses that a successful breach can result in. This can and should also be considered when calculating ROI.

IT professionals who recognize the importance of cyber security incident response and a strong, established disaster recovery strategy can make a case for their cause by presenting the proposed ROI to key decision makers. By selling the value of such a strategy and positioning it as it rightfully should be – an investment rather than an expense – the chances of getting the financial backing needed will greatly increase.

To learn more about how you can beef up your company’s safety and security and limit costly potential downtime, give us a call today at 1-800-652-5601 or click here to request a free product demo.


Cyber Security Incident Response – Advanced Solutions for a Solid Defense

Cyber Security Incident Response – Advanced Solutions for a Solid DefenseWhen digital security first became a thing it was the dreaded virus that everyone was concerned about. IT providers got right to work developing anti-virus protection and it worked. For a while, at least. But times have changed and hackers have upped their game. Now we’re facing much more evolved and complex attacks through things like malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs) and, unfortunately, traditional protection methods are no match. Add to this the IoT, cloud and mobile technologies enabling enhanced data sharing, and it becomes increasingly clear that cyber security incident response must be advanced, intelligent and ever-evolving if it is to protect the enterprise of tomorrow.

Data Protection

Data integration has virtually revolutionized the way we do business. It has broken down barriers and made it possible for businesses of any size and industry to achieve global success. It’s also opened the doors to increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks. The foundation of a strong cyber security incident response strategy begins with making sure that the data being shared within the network is secure. To accomplish this, the following basic steps should be applied:

  • Take inventory of your software and other assets. After all, you can’t protect what you’re unaware you own.
  • Determine the baseline upon which you can measure to identify the presence of potential security threats.
  • Establish a solid foundation based on what you are protecting.
  • Employ cyber security solutions that most closely match your network protection needs.
  • Solidify your detection process. The goal should always be to prevent cyber-attacks rather than respond after the fact.
  • Establish policies and procedures that incorporate advanced, closed-loop solutions.
A Strong Security Team

Once you’ve taken these first foundational steps, it’s time to beef up your strategy and make cyber-security a priority. Start by putting together a team of highly skilled IT professionals that are experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of cyber security. If the skills gap and labor shortage in this area are making this more challenging, consider investing in training for your existing IT staff. You can also leverage technology, like automation, to help bridge these gaps and create a more solid team defense.

Evolving Roles and Responsibilities

The one thing that remains constant when it comes to cyber-attacks is that they’re always changing. Hackers spend 100% of their time identifying new vulnerabilities and developing enhanced strategies of attack. To combat this, enterprise IT must also be ready and willing to evolve as well. This includes the roles and responsibilities of CIOs and CISOs. Today, every single person in IT – from front line to C-Suite – has a duty to do whatever it takes to ensure that the massive amounts of data being shared remain safe.

Fighting Fire with Fire

Today’s security threats are becoming more sophisticated by the day. They’re also becoming more relentless. It is often not just the strength or complexity of the threat that makes an attack successful, but rather the persistence. Organizations must protect their data at all times, not just during business hours, and they must be prepared to handle the non-stop onslaught of incoming threats. Using automation as part of cyber security incident response can provide this level of round-the-clock detection and response.

Regular Testing

To reiterate yet again the importance of approaching cyber security incident response as an ever-evolving, agile function, it’s critical that enterprise IT professionals don’t fall into the “set it and forget it” trap and become lulled into a false sense of security. To maintain a solid defense against new and improved attacks, the incident response strategy in place must be well-documented and tested on a regular basis. By being proactive, the organization will enjoy a much stronger defense that will stand the test of time by adapting and improving right alongside the very threats it’s designed to protect against.

Ready to bring your cyber security incident response to the next level and become a fortress against the attacks of tomorrow? Start by downloading a free trial of eyeShare.

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How Automated Cyber Security Incident Response Can Add Business Value

How Automated Cyber Security Incident Response Can Add Business ValueThe main benefit of an effective cyber security incident response strategy is obvious. The stronger your defense to potential attacks, the lower the chances of your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. But a good IR isn’t just about protection. If it’s built strong enough, your cyber-security strategy can actually add real, quantifiable value to your organization as a whole. Here’s how.

Improved Operational Efficiency – How much time is your IT staff spending chasing down potential incidents that turn out to be false positives? How much resources are wasted on a regular basis trying to remediate problems and get critical systems back up and running? The right cyber security incident response strategy, particularly one that leverages automation, can help eliminate the false-positive conundrum and allow a more proactive approach that prevents outages from occurring in the first place.

Better Allocation of Resources – Even the most highly skilled IT professionals can’t be on 24/7/365. What’s more, the bigger the organization, the greater the number and frequency of incoming attacks. Fatigue and human error can put a huge damper on the process of cyber security incident response, often leading to even bigger problems above and beyond those that are caused by the incidents themselves. When automation is incorporated, these issues are eliminated and human capital can be better leveraged for greater business benefit.

Reduced Costs – How much is your organization currently investing in incident management? Chances are, if your IT is handling this task through manual processes or using antiquated systems, you’re wasting valuable revenue and getting little to no return. With automated cyber security incident response, the costs associated with managing incoming threats can be greatly diminished. That savings can then be applied to other key business initiatives, such as growth or expansion.

Stronger Market Reputation – Think about the world-renowned brands that were recently in the news thanks to a successful cyber-security breach. Such reputational damage can take years to recover from. Some organizations are never able to bounce back. By making cyber security incident response a priority, you can keep your company’s name out of the negative headlines and maintain a greater degree of trust within the marketplace.

Of course, the main purpose of incident response is to protect your company’s assets from would-be criminals. The good news is, with the right strategy, you can achieve much more than just a more secure cyber environment. You can actually strengthen and improve the overall strength, performance and reputation of your company as a whole.

Is your cyber security incident response plan strong enough? Could you be missing out on the key benefits listed above? Don’t wait another moment. Download your free trial today and start adding value to your business today.

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5 Things to Look for in Cyber Security Incident Response Executives

5 Things to Look for in Cyber Security Incident Response ExecutivesIn the past, the job of cyber security could sufficiently be handled by anyone in the IT department. These days, with attacks becoming more frequent and complex, more and more organizations are recognizing the need to hire a designated cyber security incident response professional to help protect sensitive data from landing in the wrong hands. If you’re considering recruiting someone for this role within your company, here are 5 key characteristics to look for.

Experience & Tech Know-How – It may go without saying, but it’s important enough to warrant mentioning that the right candidate for the role of security executive should have adequate experience in that area. This means a background not just in IT, but specifically in managing the entire cyber security incident response process, preferably including the use of automation and other systems and sophisticated strategies. Accolades like Masters Degrees are impressive, but keep an open mind and remember that hands-on experience is often much more valuable than a diploma.

Leadership Ability – Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to designate an entire team who will exclusively work on developing, implementing and managing your cyber security incident response plan. Even if you don’t currently have that need, if growth is one of your business objectives, chances are there will be a need in the future. As such, you want to choose an executive that has proven ability to effectively manage and lead others.

People Skills – The task of cyber security isn’t exclusive to the IT department. In fact, it should encompass many other areas and key individuals of the organization, including other executives. For this reason, the person in charge of your company’s security should possess the necessary skills to be able to work well with others on every level both within and outside of the IT department.

Aptitude for Innovation/Analysis – Another component of cyber security incident response is the role it plays in developing best practices and furthering business growth initiatives. This requires a leader that has the skills and ability to gather and analyze data so that appropriate reporting can be done in areas like accounting, marketing and more. The ideal candidate will have experience in the decision-making process and also be capable of identifying opportunities where they exist.

Global Outlook – Cyber criminals hail from every corner of the earth. For this reason, the individual in charge of incident response must have a keen eye for global trends as well as the ability to see things from a broader perspective. From guarding against internal threats to staying abreast of the latest in phishing tactics to preparing for complex, multi-device and intercontinental attacks, the role of security executive runs the gambit. The right person for the job must be mindful of this and well prepared to keep the organization a step ahead of those who seek to do it harm.

With the rapid increase in frequency and complexity of cyber-attacks, the need for dedicated security executives is equally on the rise. The five skills listed above can help you identify and select the ideal candidate for the job on the very first try, saving you time, money and aggravation and keeping your company safe from would-be attacks.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Cyber Security Incident Response: Dealing with Ransomware

Cyber Security Incident Response: Dealing with RansomwareIf you haven’t heard of the latest form of cyber-attacks, the time to get acquainted with what’s known as ‘ransomware’ is now. With this type of threat, hackers obtain access to a user’s system and lock it up, offering to release control back to the user in exchange for a monetary payment. Just as its name suggests, this new type of online crime essentially holds the victim’s information hostage for ransom, and unfortunately, it’s something that both individuals and businesses must prepare for. Here are some basic steps you can take to beef up your cyber security incident response plan accordingly.

Prior to an Attack

As always, when it comes to cyber security incident response, the best offense is a strong and well-planned out defense. The following steps will help you be more prepared in advance for a potential attack:

  • Adopt a system that is capable of detecting ransomware quickly and effectively
  • Fortify any threat detection system with automation for enhanced protection
  • Educate all team members on what ransomware is, what signs to look for that will help identify a potential attack and who to notify in the event of an incident
  • Always ensure that all important data is properly backed up and stored in a separate location
  • Ensure that all members of your incident response team – from IT and legal to executives – have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities should a ransomware attack occur

During an Attack

Unfortunately, despite our most valiant efforts and solid cyber security incident response plans, threats may sometimes make it through the detection process. The key is taking the appropriate actions to help mitigate the potential damages that could occur as a result of an attack. If you find yourself dealing with a ransomware attack, don’t panic and focus on the following:

  • Do NOT pay the demand for ransom (and make sure all team members are aware of this policy)
  • Immediately disconnect any and all systems impacted by the attack from the network
  • Take appropriate steps to remove the virus if possible
  • If the virus is successful in its attempt to encrypt files, remove those files that have been affected and replace with backups

After an Attack

The other important component of a strong cyber security incident response strategy is dealing with the aftermath once an attack has occurred. Hopefully, provided you’ve followed the appropriate protocol, the damages will have been limited and no serious impact will have been incurred. A good post-attack strategy will also help you improve your incident management practices in the future.

  • Notify the appropriate authorities and regulatory agencies
  • Analyze how the attack occurred and identify areas where security should be improved
  • Review your current incident response plan and make necessary adjustments
  • Document and communicate any and all changes to team members for future reference

Like it or not, ransomware is a real and present danger to businesses in every industry today. A well-defined cyber security incident response plan can help protect your organization from becoming the next target of would-be criminals and keep your systems and sensitive data safe from falling into the wrong hands.

Want to beef up your IR plan and make it safer against threats like ransomware? eyeShare is the perfect solution. Download your trial today to get started.

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5 Key Areas of Cyber Security Incident Response

5 Key Areas of Cyber Security Incident ResponseOne only needs to read a handful of recent headlines to recognize the increasing importance of cyber security incident response. Without such a strategy in place, an organization is extremely vulnerable to a potential breach. Most IT professionals are well aware of incident management, but many aren’t cognizant of the additional capabilities available with the right strategy in place. To follow are 5 areas where cyber security incident response can be leveraged to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Network Monitoring

Today’s cyber criminals aren’t just sophisticated, they are relentless. With an increasing frequency, number and complexity of attacks, keeping a laser-sharp focus on your network is absolutely critical. With the right cyber security incident response strategy in place, not only do threats get detected with more accuracy, but they are addressed swiftly and more effectively. Furthermore, forward-thinking organizations are leveraging this technology to collect and analyze data, taking a more proactive approach to security.

Host Monitoring

Another area where real-time data collection, processing and analysis is coming to the forefront is that of host monitoring. Today’s SOC managers are reaching beyond traditional log collection and availing themselves of more complex and comprehensive tools, including but not limited to forensics. Cyber security incident response will continue to play a key role in this function, ensuring a more secure environment across the board.

Behavioral Analysis

Analyzing the behavior of users can provide valuable insight into and detection of potential insider threats. Data containing details about things like system access information and what activities are being performed can alert those in charge of cyber security incident response of possible threats, such as identify theft. The concept of user behavior analytics is somewhat contemporary, but it’s gaining traction amongst leading-edge organizations.

Threat Intelligence

As you read these words, mountains of data is being collected, processed and analyzed with the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding of cyber security threats. The goal is to develop cyber security incident response strategies that are able to stay a step ahead of cyber criminals and effectively thwart potential attacks. It’s basically the concept of knowing your enemies, and it’s something more and more IT professionals are leveraging to their advantage.

Process Automation

Obviously, the bigger the organization the greater the amount of data that must be fielded. At an enterprise level, for cyber security incident response to be handled in a way that is both effective and efficient, tools, systems and applications must be streamlined to work together seamlessly. Process automation can be a highly effective tool to help bridge these gaps and bring existing platforms together. Automated play books and workflows can further enhance the IR process and make it more concrete.

These days, the topic of cyber security is on every IT leader’s mind. Forward-thinking organizations that leverage the above functionalities of their cyber security incident response plans will be much more likely to emerge unscathed while others continue to fall victim to online threats. On which side of the coin will your business end up?

The time to take action is now.

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