A burgeoning underground is systematically plundering and disrupting IT networks. Waves of attacks against organizations’ endpoints, applications and networks are so pervasive that they are forcing organizations to focus on improving their security and response programs.
As witnessed by a variety of large breaches to go public in 2014 and 2015, a major network breach can result in the loss of intellectual property and personal data, customer and shareholder lawsuits, even compliance audits and sanctions. Fallout from a network breach more often than not is proving to be material, judging from the record 783 data breaches made public in the U.S. in 2014, a 30 percent increase over 2013, as tracked by the Identity Theft Resource Center. Although a bottom-line damage fgure is impossible to derive, the aggregate damages to breached organizations appear to be in the billions of dollars annually.
The so-called Carbanak hacking gang alone has been tied to advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks against 100 banks of all sizes that have netted the criminals an estimated $1 billion over the past two years. Meanwhile, analysts estimate it will cost Target more than $1 billion to fully recover from losing payment card transaction records for 110 million customers. If damage from an advanced network-based attack can be material, then taking costefective steps to understand and reduce the exposure is logical and prudent for all organizations.
This paper outlines a basic approach to maturing security operations and, in the process, making security more cost-efective while improving risk posture. Those just waking up to security, as well as organizations looking to refne and steadily improve existing security programs already in place, can beneft from maturing their programs to concentrate on measurable outcomes.
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