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Thwart The Breach: Using Data Threat Intelligence to Stop Data Breaches Before They Occur

by Metsi Security | July 09, 2023

Data breaches can ruin your organisation. They can cost you millions of dollars, damage your reputation, expose you to legal risks, and violate regulatory standards. According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, and took an average time of 280 days to identify and contain.

You cannot afford to be reactive when it comes to data security. You need to be proactive. You need to be comprehensive. You need data threat intelligence.

Data threat intelligence is the process of collecting, analysing, and disseminating information about data-related threats and vulnerabilities to detect and prevent data breaches. Robust threat intelligence approaches make use of the following capabilities:

Data Monitoring

You can't protect what you can't see. Data threat intelligence tools let you see everything that's happening with your data. They continuously monitor data flows, including data in transit, data at rest, and data accessed by users or applications. They cover internal data repositories, cloud services, and network traffic. By monitoring data flows, you can gain visibility into your data assets, identify sensitive data, and detect any anomalies or deviations from normal behaviour.

Anomaly Detection

Anomalies are red flags for data breaches. They are unusual data access patterns, such as a sudden surge in data transfers, unauthorised data access attempts, or abnormal data exfiltration. They may indicate a potential data breach or an ongoing attack. Data threat intelligence tools can spot these anomalies and alert you of any suspicious activity. They also provide you with contextual information to help you investigate and respond.

User Behaviour Analytics

Users are often the weakest link in data security. They can be insiders who abuse their privileges, compromised accounts who are controlled by hackers, or malicious actors who are trying to steal or manipulate data. User behaviour analytics (UBA) can help you catch these users by analysing their activities and detecting suspicious behaviour. UBA can identify unusual access patterns, privilege escalation attempts, or unexpected data access by authorised users.

Endpoint Protection

Endpoints are the entry points for data breaches. They are the devices that access your data, such as laptops, smartphones, or tablets. They can be infected by malware, attacked by ransomware, or stolen by thieves. Endpoint protection can help you secure these devices by monitoring and analysing data-related activities on endpoints. This includes monitoring file access, data transfers, and suspicious processes that may indicate potential data breaches.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data loss prevention (DLP) is the last line of defence for data breaches. It is the process of preventing sensitive data from leaving your organisation's network. Data threat intelligence solutions work in conjunction with DLP systems to enforce policies and identify potential data breaches. They analyse data leaving your network and compare it against predefined policies to detect sensitive data leakage. DLP can help you prevent accidental or intentional data exposure, such as sending confidential information via email or uploading it to unsecured cloud services.

Threat Intelligence Integration

Threat intelligence integration is the way to stay ahead of the curve in data security. It is the process of integrating external threat intelligence feeds into your data threat intelligence tools to receive real-time updates on known threats, vulnerabilities, and indicators of compromise (IoCs). This enhances your detection capabilities by identifying data-related threats and potential attack vectors. Threat intelligence integration can help you stay ahead of emerging threats, patch vulnerabilities, and block malicious domains or IP addresses.

Incident Response and Remediation

Incident response and remediation is the way to limit the damage of a data breach. It is the process of reacting to a detected breach or potential compromise by alerting your security team, initiating forensic investigations, and implementing containment measures to minimise the impact of the breach. Incident response and remediation can help you limit the damage, recover from the incident, and prevent recurrence.

Security Analytics and Reporting

Security analytics and reporting is the way to learn from your mistakes in data security. It is the process of providing security analytics and reporting capabilities to help your security team gain insights into data breach trends, patterns, and the effectiveness of existing security controls. These reports assist in identifying potential vulnerabilities and enhancing your security posture. Security analytics and reporting can help you measure your performance, improve your processes, and demonstrate compliance.

Compliance Monitoring

Compliance monitoring is the way to avoid trouble with regulators in data security. It is the process of monitoring and maintaining compliance with data protection regulations. Data threat intelligence tools can identify potential violations, such as unauthorised access to sensitive data or inappropriate data handling practices. Compliance monitoring can help you avoid fines, sanctions, or legal actions for non-compliance.

Data threat intelligence is a vital component of a robust data security strategy. It can help you detect and prevent data breaches by providing you with visibility, detection, protection, response, analysis, and compliance capabilities. And with a trusted partner by your side, it can become a reality. Contact a Metsi Security consultant and turn your protection strategy from reactive to proactive.