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Why Digital Risk Protection is an investment, not a cost

by Cybersprint Blog 27 Sep 2019

The days of IT being a sunk cost are over – at least they are for organisations that want to leverage the full power of digital transformation, while minimising the risks. This new reality applies to many of the ways in which technology supports the realisation of business goals – both offensively and defensively. And as business becomes increasingly digital, both assume ever greater importance.

Digital Risk Protection is a proactive defensive strategy that organisations pursue to counter threats, avoid unnecessary cost, improve efficiency and recover lost revenue. Significant ROI can be uncovered in all four areas. This makes it relevant to risk and compliance officers, security departments, marketing and corporate communications functions, and the C-suite.

ROI 1 – Risk avoidance

Like most other elements within a typical cyber security strategy, the investment in a solution must be seen within the context of the unwanted costs a security breach will generate. The former is usually a small proportion of the latter. But avoiding resolution costs is only part of the story. One of the most valuable aspects of a good Digital Risk Protection (DRP) solution is the insights it provides into an organisation’s digital footprint. This is a crucial element in establishing the actions required to protect the business and its reputation from risk. 

ROI 2 – Cost reduction

Digital Risk Protection solutions automate many of the tasks involved in identifying, monitoring and resolving digital threats to an organisation, around the clock. On-premise off-the-shelf or DIY cyber security measures that provide only partial coverage of these tasks offer poor value when compared with purpose-built, continuously updated solutions, delivered as a service. The best digital risk protection solutions also cover Shadow IT (i.e. unauthorised domains, apps or devices being created or used without informing the IT department) and Forgotten IT (such as old website landing pages and archived content), which provide additional cost reduction opportunities.

ROI 3 – Increased efficiency

The automation inherent to digital risk protection solutions makes identifying vulnerabilities faster and easier, thereby increasing process efficiency. The identification and elimination of the Shadow- and Forgotten IT mentioned above also streamlines each organisation’s digital footprint and saves on the resources needed to maintain and host it.

ROI 4 – Recovered revenue

Successful cyber attacks have an immediate negative impact on organisational revenues. So do phishing websites and online websites selling counterfeit or stolen goods. All of these threats also adversely affect brand reputation, which can drive customers to alternative vendors. Digital risk protection solutions help mitigate these risks to an organisation’s revenue by helping to identify and eliminate illegal or threatening activity as quickly as possible.

Conclusion:

Digital Risk Protection has never been a necessary cost. It’s an investment that can repay itself many times over, not just through risk elimination or avoidance, but also through proactive cost reduction and revenue protection. 

Cybersprint is expert in helping organisations identify and eliminate digital risks to their data, operational continuity and revenue, wherever they originate online. 

Are you curious to see where your organisation's online vulnerabilities lie? The insights from our DRP platform help you allocate fewer recourses for a 'what-if' scenario. Our free Quickscan gives you an idea of our platform's capabilities. 

 

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Mitre PRE-ATT&CK: What is it and how to use it

One of the best ways to improve your digital security is to let the past help prepare you for the future. Knowing the tactics threat actors have used in other cyber-attacks will help you determine what you should protect your systems from. Luckily, you needn’t figure that out by yourself. Mitre has created frameworks of the many different ways cyber-attacks have been orchestrated in existing use cases. Here’s how you can use this information to strengthen your cyber-resilience. What is the Mitre PRE-ATTACK framework? Mitre is an American organisation conducting federal-funded research into various markets with the aim to create a safer world through their research. Cybersecurity is one of those markets. To help organisations understand where their might need to focus more security resources on, they created two matrices of all techniques cyber-criminals have used to set up and execute attacks in the past. These are called the ATT&CK and the PRE-ATT&CK frameworks. Even though the ATT&CK framework is most well-known, we see a shift occurring, as PRE-ATT&CK is starting to step out of the shadow of ATT&CK with a more specific focus. Whereas the ATT&CK framework concentrates on the steps taken once an attack is launched, the PRE-ATT&CK framework focusses on the preceding preparation phases, allowing organisations to predict and prepare for attacks before they happen. Mitre’s frameworks match with other models, helping to frame the extensive matrices. To illustrate how PRE-ATT&CK differs from ATT&CK, we’ve plotted the frameworks in the ‘7 stages of the cyber kill chain’, as created by Lockheed Martin. All steps needed to execute a cyber-attack can be divided over these seven stages. As shown below, the first two stages are broadly covered by Mitre’s PRE-ATT&CK, and the other five by the ATT&CK framework. How to apply PRE-ATT&CK Preventing an attack is far more cost-effective than having to repair damages to IT systems, let alone the financial or reputational impact it can have. It is hard and expensive to determine the impact of an attack with IT forensics and replacing infected systems can have a negative effect on overall business productivity. Incorporating an automated outside-in perspective of your brand’s online exposure allows you to discover vulnerabilities in the same way an attacker might look for entry points into your IT infrastructure. This approach empowers you to regain control over your digital attack surface and mitigate risks before they can be exploited. This approach is called digital footprint management and can be placed under the concept of Digital Risk Protection. Below is an overview of Mitre’s PRE-ATT&CK framework. The complete matrix is a little too large to be read in detail, so a deep dive into the content is available via this video. The highlighted fields represent the areas covered by Digital Risk Protection and digital footprint monitoring. The light green indicates partial coverage and deep green full coverage. Combining the PRE-ATT&CK framework with your existing security procedures can help you identify potential threats and weak spots in your systems. Still, you first need to have a complete overview of your organisation’s digital assets before you can confidently say where you are more likely to be hit. That’s why the digital footprint approach works so well with PRE-ATT&CK. Having both will help you determine and validate where you might have underspent or overspent on security measures, for example. Besides improving the cyber-resilience of your systems, incorporating the Mitre PRE-ATT&CK framework in the organisation’s digital footprint will bring more business value to the organisation as a whole. This whitepaper explains the PRE-ATT&CK framework in more detail, and describes the specific ROI for your organisation. Looking for a comprehensive clarification of the security tactics described above, explained with actual use cases? Watch our recorded webinar. Sebastiaan Bosman is Content Marketeer at Cybersprint. With a   background in Communications and Linguistics, he is responsible for   the creation and editing processes of most internal and external   communication. He writes content such as blogs, whitepapers and   case studies, primarily based on Cybersprint’s own research data.   Previously, Sebastiaan worked as Content & Communications   Advisor at ING Global.

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From practice to preventing: How criminals adapt their attack methods

Similar to traditional ‘brick-and-mortar criminals’, not all cyber-criminals employ the same method to reach their goal. A burglar wouldn’t enter a house with an alarm or when there are people inside, but go for an easier opportunity. The same goes for internet-thieves. Their risk/reward balance depends on the required investment beforehand to successfully carry out their attack. What are the aspects they take into consideration?

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Use case: footprint mapping at ifm electronics

Interview with Kevin Kampeter, IT Security Specialist at ifm electronic gmbh.

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