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Cybersecurity refers to the set of processes, policies and techniques that work together to secure and organization against digital attacks. Digital attacks are becoming increasingly common, especially as enterprise IT organizations invest increasing amounts of money into cybersecurity and hackers turn their attention towards small and medium-sized businesses with fewer network security protections.
IT security analysts form part of the IT operations team that is tasked with reviewing and maintaining an organization's cybersecurity posture and protecting it from threats. Cybersecurity analysts play a critical role in detecting and repelling cybersecurity attacks to protect the business from a service interruption or data breach.
IT organizations deploy a range of versatile tools to satisfy their need to guard against cyber attacks at various points of vulnerability. There is no single cybersecurity tool that can repel all types of attacks from every known attack vector. Security analysts must review security measures and protocols throughout the IT infrastructure and implement a variety of preventive, detective and retrospective analytical tools to detect cyber attacks and mitigate the consequences of successful attacks.
We identify four aspects of IT infrastructure that can be secured using cybersecurity tools and technologies.
Today's applications are often deployed and supported through web-based portals, making them a potential attack vector for hackers. Cybersecurity operatives deploy security measures to prevent hackers from executing cyber attacks against applications. These include preventive measures such as static security testing, web application firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
Network security is a major focus for IT security analysts. Preventive tools such as network traffic analysis, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, threat intelligence and malware analysis platforms are deployed to detect and mitigate tasks as they occur. Additional technologies such as SIM, SEM and SIEM cybersecurity tools, network forensics and security orchestration technologies can be implemented to detect attacks that are in progress, identify possible security threats and perform a retrospective analysis of detected anomalies or outlier data that could indicate a breach.
Network endpoints represent an especially vulnerable attack vector, as mobile endpoints such as laptops, mobile phones or tablets may be taken off-site and used to access unsecured networks. Endpoints can be secured using technologies such as host-based intrusion detection, anti-virus and anti-spyware software applications, and device firewalls. Processes such as mobile device management and regular patching updates can help maintain the security posture of network endpoints.
The SaaS delivery model for cloud services has resulted in enterprise organizations accessing increasing numbers of applications through web-based application portals. Organizations that subscribe to platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), or other types of cloud services may face additional exposure to cybersecurity vulnerabilities through these potential attack vectors. Technologies like data discovery and classification, anomaly detection and forensic analysis can be used to prevent, detect and analyze threats to cloud-based IT infrastructure.
In today's technological environment, organizations of all sizes are capturing, creating and storing massive amounts of data. While this data can be used to inform decision-making and drive value creation, it can also be stolen by cyber attackers with dramatic consequences for the business. We identify three major risks that businesses and IT organizations can mitigate through effective cybersecurity processes and countermeasures.
Cybersecurity supports compliance with standards and regulations
If your organization collects payment card information from its customers, you are responsible for complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DDS). If you collect health care information, such as payment records from Americans, you are probably covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You may want to maintain an ISO 27001 Information Security Management certificate, which requires you to establish effective controls to protect data security and privacy.
Whatever the case, failure to maintain cybersecurity in these cases could result in legal fines and penalties, loss of your certification or a loss of trust with payment card companies that could ultimately sink your business.
Cybersecurity protects services from unplanned downtime
Organizations of all sizes rely on the uninterrupted functioning of core applications to support their most important revenue-driving business processes. For large organizations, the cost of application outages can easily reach the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in cases where the outage lasts for much longer than is acceptable.
While many cyber attackers are focused on stealing data that can be sold in illegal marketplaces, cyber attackers can also be initiated by competitor companies who wish to gain an edge by attacking your systems and services.
The financial impact of service outages varies from company to company, with estimates ranging from $90,000 per hour for media companies to nearly $6.5 million per hour for large online financial brokerages. Organizations that implement the necessary procedures and systems to maintain cybersecurity benefit from the reduced application and network downtime that has a direct return on investment for the organization.
Cybersecurity prevents costly data breaches
Data breaches are enormously expensive and most IT organizations today are shockingly ineffective at preventing, containing or even detecting them when they happen.
For organizations that respond late to data breaches, the pain doesn't end there. Notification costs, fines and penalties, regulatory compliance audits and litigation can all stem from a single data breach where sensitive customer information is compromised. Effective cybersecurity countermeasures significantly reduce the risk of a data breach that could cost your company millions of dollars.
When it comes to maintaining cybersecurity throughout your IT infrastructure, organizations must develop capabilities to prevent attacks as they happen, detect and identify possible security threats and forensically analyze data to investigate anomalies and outliers. Sumo Logic's Cloud SIEM tool benefits your IT organization with data-driven threat detection and automated incident response capabilities with custom alerts. Sumo Logic helps your IT organization respond to threats as they occur, streamline forensic investigations and access the most up-to-date threat intelligence to maintain your cybersecurity posture.
Reduce downtime and move from reactive to proactive monitoring.