What to Know About Breach Detection Gaps

What to Know About Breach Detection Gaps

Data breaches went up significantly in 2020, as the world went remote. Breaches didn’t only go up in number and prevalence. They also went up in terms of impact and cost. An IBM study found data breaches take an astounding 212 days to detect, and another 75 days to contain. 

If a hacker is on your network, based on this research, they’ve been there for a while, and they know exactly what’s going on. 

These days where breaches go undetected, can wreak havoc on essentially every aspect of your business. Hackers can spend this time watching and learning. The time window is called the breach detection gap. 

Having a long breach detection gap indicates that you have a problem monitoring and detecting network threats. Recognizing the problem is half the battle. You can do other things to shorten or close your breach detection gap. 

What Causes Breach Detection Gaps?

There are two general factors at play in a breach detection gap typically. One is the skill or stealth of the hacker. The second factor is a failure on the target’s part. 

Hackers can avoid detection by lingering on a network quietly. Hackers can also work in the background, and the network isn’t detecting whatever they’re doing. 

If your cybersecurity solutions are well-configured, hackers don’t have a lot of time to achieve whatever it is they hope to once they’re detected. That’s why you’ll see bad actors sometimes wait to take any action after their initial access into your network. 

When a hacker waits, they can monitor and gather intelligence on things like your security systems and data. Then, they can get ready to launch an attack that will be more beneficial for them. 

This scenario doesn’t consider failed detection. A hacker could already be engaging in their attack, and yet if you have poor monitoring, security, or detection, your network may not identify that activity. 

Reasons that a company might fail to detect a network breach include:

  • Increasingly complex networks. There are automated elements and integrations that are particularly becoming more common with the requirements of remote infrastructure. They make networks complex. IT teams aren’t yet sure how to optimize their management of these complex networks, and they can miss what’s known as an indicator of compromise. 
  • It’s more challenging for IT teams to correctly identify indicators of compromise when a remote environment is a new concept. For example, it could be that significant threats are labeled as low priority when they shouldn’t be. 
  • Since the world is still largely remote on a scale much more significant than ever in the past, IT teams face challenges and may not have the resources to respond to threats as they should. 
  • Distributed environments mean siloed security, unfortunately. You need to, as a company, make sure that your security is spanning your entire network, providing you with a holistic perspective. 

Tips to Improve Breach Detection

When you’re planning your cybersecurity approach for 2022, consider breach detection. You want to detect any potential threats immediately and, ideally, stop whatever it is or mitigate it. 

Zero Trust security is one of the most forward-thinking ways to do this and simultaneously solve many of the other cybersecurity issues that tend to occur in remote environments, including human error and potential internal intentional threats. 

With Zero Trust, you aren’t relying on perimeter-based security because there is no longer a traditional physical perimeter to speak of. Instead, Zero Trust security requires verification before any authorization. 

Nothing is inherently trusted, and everything is verified. 

Zero Trust verifies with multi-factor authentication and other methodologies, rather than relying simply on a username and password. All login attempts must go through these layers of verification. It’s not just for initial access. 

This helps prevent lateral movement if there is a breach. 

Additionally, monitoring and reporting tools need to take a holistic perspective of the infrastructure instead of separating it application by application. A unified directory is also a way to keep everything centralized. 

Undoubtedly 2022 is going to be the year Zero Trust goes mainstream, which will be a pivotal part of reducing your breach detection gap and preventing many other major cybersecurity issues from occurring. Employers have to find sustainable strategies for cybersecurity in what looks to be permanent hybrid or remote work environments. Many challenges are solved through the implementation of Zero Trust and associated technologies.