What is the easiest way to prevent cyber security breaches?

May 5 2023, by Sachin Paul | Category: Cloud Services

Cyber security breaches are the new battleground for Australian businesses. Not only are we seeing an increase in the number of cyber security attacks and breaches (76,000 were reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre in 2021-2022, to be exact), the security incidents are also becoming more complex. They’re also becoming much harder to prevent and detect.

Unfortunately, cyber security breaches are also incredibly bad for businesses – of all shapes and sizes. If you’re hit by a cyber event, you can expect it to cost you an average of:

  • $39,000 for small businesses
  • $88,000 for medium businesses
  • $62,000 for large businesses.

If the cost seems unfairly weighted to the SMB/SME sector, that’s because it is. Reports suggest that around 60% of SMB organisations go out of business within six months of a cyber security data breach or cyberattack. Once critical systems such as accounting and order fulfillment are hit, any downtime can prove catastrophic.

Large organisations suffer from cyber security breaches, too. While they may not be an extinction-level event, there will still be financial losses and the frightening potential of compromise of customer data and intellectual property. If you’re in a regulated sector, be prepared for the corporate watchdog to come knocking on your door with fines and sanctions.

And if your organisation is a household name, you can expect to see the details splashed over national media. It can take years to recover confidence and trust from your customers, your shareholders and other interested parties.

Here’s the good news….

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to cyber security. Over the past six months or so, we’re seeing far greater awareness from all corners of the business landscape about the need for making serious investment in the tools and strategies to prevent cyber security breaches.

In particular, the SMB/SME sector is taking cyber security threats far more seriously. On average, these businesses are committing 20% of budget to prevent cyber security breaches. Many expect to spend more in the coming year.

It’s a strong and positive sign that most of us are adjusting to the challenges of hybrid working, and we’re serious about tackling whatever lies ahead.

…and the bad news, too.

However, there’s a big challenge that is looming for everyone when it comes to preventing cyber security breaches, no matter the size of your organisation. It’s the cyber security skills gap – and if you’ve ever tried to recruit a cyber security professional to join your team, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. If you’re not familiar, the World Economic Forum reports that:

  • 3.4 million more skilled cyber security professionals are needed globally
  • The skills gap has more than doubled since 2019.

In other words – competition for cyber skills is fierce, so be prepared to pay for them.

So what’s the easiest solution to this complicated global problem? For enterprises large and small, it’s time to move past the idea of maintaining your own in-house cyber security team, and explore the world of managed security services. Think of it as cyber security as a service: outsourcing the heavy lifting so you can focus on what you do best, without compromising on the outcomes, i.e.:

  • Efficient security monitoring
  • Faster incident response
  • Fewer false positives
  • Valuable insights.

Choosing the right managed security service partner.

There are a few managed security service providers around, but we’re not all created equal. Do your due diligence before you select your partner – the future of your business could be riding on it.

Bad actors work around the globe and the clock, so a 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) is non-negotiable for anyone claiming to provide services to help prevent cyber security breaches.

However, the SOC needs to be staffed with the right people, supported by the right processes and technology. The cyber security threat landscape has become so complex that you need a diverse range of skill sets to ensure you’re protected.

Before you commit, we recommend asking these four questions:

  1. Does your team include a good mix of skills and perspectives? This should include analysts, engineers, incident handlers and managers who have expertise in security monitoring, triage, incident response planning and incident handling.
  2. What is the make-up of your current customer base? Does it cover a wide range of organisation sizes, types and industries? In this case, more diverse is always better, because there’s strength and knowledge in numbers.
  3. Do you have a continuous improvement mindset? You expect your employees to be focused on continuous improvement. Your cyber security partner should be, too. They should be proactive about identifying loopholes in your environment, and making recommendations to fix them – even when everything is going well. This also extends to continuous investment in upskilling of the people who will be delivering your security outcomes. After all, prevention is always better than cure.
  4. Can you help with compliance and alignment to regulatory bodies? Depending on your industry, there will be a range of frameworks, legislation, controls and standards that you need to meet. Whether it’s the Essential Eight, the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act, ISO standards or any other, your partner should be on top of them – so you don’t have to be.

How can we help?

Our managed security services are provided by some of the most skilled cyber security professionals in the country, from one of the most technologically advanced SOCs in the world. This includes more than 200 staff cleared by the Australian Federal Government to manage classified government data, which we’ve done for more than a decade.

We’d love to discuss working together to prevent cyber security breaches against your organisation. Contact us on 1800 004 943 or email enquiries@macquariecloudservices.com to find out more.

About the author.

Sachin is Macquarie Cloud Services’ Principal Product Manager for Cyber Security. That’s a fancy way of saying he leads our cloud security practice and spends a lot of time solving cyber security challenges in companies just like yours. He’s also an avid reader of books that explore the role of technology in shaping our world.

See all articles by this author

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