Today IBM released IBM Study: Hidden Costs of Data Breaches Increase Expenses for Businesses.

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO and founder of web security company High-Tech Bridge commented below as part of security experts comments.

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO and founder at High-Tech Bridge:

The main costs when it comes to breaches and how they can be avoided

“I would probably highlight loss of business as a main, albeit long-term, cost of a data breach. New customers may hesitate to work with you, old customers can simply refuse to renew their contracts. The second pillar of costs are legal expenses, fines and penalties imposed by regulatory authorities, often aggravated by individual and class-action lawsuits the victims may have against the breached company.

Last, but not least, breach investigation and remediation can be quite expensive and require partial shutdown of operations and interruption of business-critical processes. Even worse, you never know how long the impact will last: in some cases, people may quickly forget about the incident, in others, it can take decades to expunge negative memories and stereotypes.”

How can artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics and orchestration be used to mitigate breaches or prevent them?

“AI technologies are mainly used for intelligent automation and acceleration of various complicated tasks and processes. However, per se, AI is not a panacea, and if desultory applied – worth virtually nothing. Most of the breached companies failed not because of bad technologies they use, but to their overall lack of coherent cybersecurity strategy. Many large companies don’t even have an up2date and comprehensive inventory of their digital assets with business-critical data, let alone properly implemented continuous security monitoring and anomaly detection. Cybersecurity should start with a holistic risk assessment and coherent risk mitigation strategy, not with a particular technology that may be unsuitable for your company, people or processes.”

What are the most useful data protection practices that organisations can put into practices to minimise damage/cost of breaches?

“First of all, organisations need to build a comprehensive and up2date inventory of all  their digital assets: software, hardware, users, data and licenses. Then assess and prioritise the risks and threats to these assets. Once done, a risk-based cybersecurity roadmap should be launched and continuously measured. Speaking about particular technologies, I’d certainly emphasise continuous security monitoring, anomaly detection, strong authentication and role-based access control with four-eyes principle.”

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