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How Filling Your Cybersecurity Gaps Increases Your Bottom Line

January 17, 2023
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Cyberattack prevention and remediation cost time and money. Are there ways to get a better return on your cybersecurity investments? What business processes or technologies will not only reduce those cyber risks but also save you time or money? This piece addresses those questions with a focus on data breaches.

The Risks

Three of the top cybersecurity risks today are:

  • Data Breaches
  • Ransomware
  • Inside Threats

Each of them can target your organization’s data, much of which is sensitive data like intellectual property, trade secrets, and customer and employee information that is personally identifiable (PII). Data breaches have become so common that industry pundits routinely say that it is a matter of when, not if, your company’s data may be lost or stolen. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center Q3 Data Breach Analysis, in the United States there were 1,291 publicly-reported data breaches in the first three quarters of 2022.

The Costs of Compliance and Non-Compliance

Just to keep current with evolving regulations, organizations spend significant staff resources. Even if an organization does not directly experience a data breach, it may incur penalties for failing to comply with industry or government regulations.

The costs of compliance pale in comparison to the costs of a data breach. All cyberattacks incur some costs, but data breaches are both highly probable and costly.

The Most Common Gaps

For organizations of all types, data security vulnerabilities range widely. Organizations don’t always know what sensitive data they have or where it resides. Application developers don’t always build adequate security into their applications. Even Zero Trust environments aren’t 100% effective at preventing cyberattacks.

Defending against data breaches is increasingly difficult as threat actors are constantly creating more sophisticated social engineering ,malware, and phishing attacks. Adding to the challenge is the fact that IT environments are growing increasingly complex, which increases the attack surface.

Last but certainly not least, it is challenging to protect data because it is spread across the globe in business silos. It is on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments, each of which has varying security.

Methods that Do Not Fill in the Gaps

Perimeter tools such as firewalls, Intrusion detection systems (IDS), and anti-spyware software are not sufficient to defend against data infiltration attacks.  The same is true of security information and event management (SIEM) tools.

Data loss prevention tools (DLPs) were created to monitor how data can be shared, arbitrate which data is allowed to leave a network, and block whatever data is not permitted to leave a network. However, data is highly portable. Whether via email, a local storage system, a shared drive, or a USB drive, it is almost impossible to prevent sensitive data from leaving a network via malicious actors, a configuration error, or an insider threat.

Traditional encryption, like Transparent Database Encryption (TDE), is either on or off and leaves data in the clear at rest. TDE would allow a Database Administrator to see sensitive data in a database, even though their role is unlikely to require this type of access to still be effective. This is the reason DBA credentials are often coveted by the attackers.

Tokenization protects sensitive data by replacing it with alias values or tokens that are meaningless to someone who gains unauthorized access to the data. It is one of many technologies used to protect data, such as various techniques for encryption (including Format-Preserving Encryption (FPE), monitoring/blocking/masking data, truncation, and hashing. Each of these technologies entails tradeoffs in performance, storage, security, and transparency.

Traditional, vault-based tokenization methods require massive computing resources, impose complex operations, deliver poor performance from system latency, and pose practical limitations on the amount of protected data. They are costly to scale and reach speed and capacity limitations.

Optimal Data Protection and Your ROI

Vaultless Tokenization is particularly powerful because of its performance characteristics and its ability to produce ciphertext that maintains data type, format, value, and length. This ciphertext is transparent to the systems as it moves and can be reversed to the original cleartext value just in time for an authorized user. PVT protects data as it travels between applications, devices, and servers, whether in the cloud or on-premises, as well as wherever it is in the world.

With the right tools and strategies, organizations benefit in several ways:

  • Greater efficiencies for information security officers and application builders
  • Reduced time for application security reviews
  • Reduced time-to-value for new applications and services
  • Increased revenue from new income streams
  • Reduced cost of compliance
  • Improved security

Protegrity's data protection platform is designed to work with your integrations and your data loss prevention tools. Contact our team to learn more today!

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