Security Monitoring

What Is Monitoring in Cybersecurity?

Cyber monitoring is the process of continuously observing an IT system to detect data breaches, cyber threats, or other system vulnerabilities. It is a proactive cybersecurity practice that can help your IT team sift through cyber events to determine which ones may pose threats to your data or systems.

Protecting your company’s IT infrastructure and data is critical to maintaining security not only for your organisation but also for your employees, partners, and customers.

By integrating ongoing cybersecurity monitoring into your business’ digital practices, you can monitor for cyber threats, data breaches, and security misconfigurations in real-time.

Please keep reading to learn more about cyber monitoring, why continuous monitoring is essential, and how your organisation can add cyber monitoring into its regular IT security practices.

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How Cyber Monitoring Works

Cyber monitoring provides real-time visibility of suspicious behaviour or unauthorised system changes on your network. This allows IT professionals to stay steps ahead of possible security threats and various data breaches.

With cyber monitoring, foreign data is confirmed and monitored through your business’ security protocols. Data may be stored in a local data center or through a cloud database. As information is collected and analysed, suspicious behaviours are defined and will trigger alerts. Your IT team receives the attention, prompting them to take any necessary security measures.

To better understand what cyber monitoring is and how it functions, consider two main types of cyber monitoring. endpoint monitoring and network monitoring.

Security Monitoring

Endpoint Monitoring

Endpoint monitoring involves tracking the devices connected to a specific network to protect the network from the risks these devices pose. Any laptops, cell phones, tablets, desktop computers, and Internet of Things devices connected to your business network are considered endpoints and require monitoring.

By continuously overseeing and analysing endpoint behaviours for each device connected to your network, your IT team can detect threats earlier and respond faster when an endpoint’s activity appears abnormal or insecure.

Network Monitoring

Network monitoring involves tracking and analysing network activities to detect and respond to performance issues, which could indicate an intrusion or leave the network vulnerable to an attack.

Networking components that are slow, overloaded, crashing, experiencing outages, or other technical failures can render your network susceptible to attack. Not only that, but overloaded servers, computers, or other devices can also be a symptom of a cyberattack.

By incorporating diagnostic tools, applications, or appliances into your network monitoring, you can analyse security logs from these various components. When the software detects a performance issue or threat, it alerts your IT team via email, text, or other alarms. With early detection, your IT professionals can respond quickly to mitigate the situation.

Why is security monitoring necessary?

As the modern workplace becomes increasingly cloud-focused and digitalised, the traditional network perimeter is blurring. Cyber threats are evolving to take advantage of new vulnerabilities that emerge daily.

While preventative security technology can be known as signature-based threats, cybersecurity threat monitoring is required to identify more sophisticated threats that evade these controls.

Continuous cybersecurity monitoring helps organisations to:

  • Detect a broader range of threats
  • Reduce the time it takes to respond to attacks
  • Comply with industry and regulatory requirements

Now that you know what cyber monitoring is and how it works, how important is it for your organisation? And how can you explain its significance to your key stakeholders? Consider these four reasons why cyber monitoring should be a high priority for businesses of all industries.

Detect and Respond to Threats Faster

Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR) are two primary metrics that cybersecurity teams use to gauge their success in handling digital crises. Mean Time to Detect is the average time it takes to detect security threats or breaches.

Once your IT team identifies an event as a threat and creates an alert, your Mean Time to Respond begins. MTTR is the average time it takes to respond to threats or attacks.

Similar to a health crisis, a cyberattack necessitates quick detection and response times to limit the damage as much as possible. Without cyber monitoring, reducing MTTD and MTTR times can be a challenge.

“52.6% of organisations had an MTTD of less than 24 hours, while 81.4% had an MTTD of 30 days or less,” Threatpost reports. “Once an incident is detected, 67% of organisations report an MTTR of less than 24 hours, with that number increasing to 95.8% when measuring an MTTR of less than 30 days.”

The longer a criminal has access to your network, the more harm they can cause. Today, it only takes a matter of hours, if not minutes, for a hacker to infiltrate a network. Allowing security threats to lurk in your environment for extended periods can result in severe data breaches, loss of critical information, and alterations to your network settings, sometimes permanently.

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Cybercrime Is On the Rise

As cybercrimes continue to increase in number and sophistication, organisations of every kind will face higher risks and require ongoing, proactive cybersecurity to protect themselves.

In 2019, cybercrime cost at least $3.5 billion alone. By 2021, cybercrime is expected to cost over $6 trillion globally. Businesses both big and small are finding it challenging to keep up with the growing influx of cyber threats attacking their IT systems, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Smaller businesses, in particular, are more susceptible to cyberattacks, as they tend to spend substantially fewer resources on cybersecurity. Small businesses are the victim in 43% of cyberattacks, and 60% of those businesses close within six months.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Countries worldwide are taking steps to require businesses to monitor and protect their data systems and information strictly—and holding them accountable for not doing so. Many states have introduced more of these laws in recent years to address the increasing concern over cybercrime and data security.

For instance, At least 25 states regulate data security in the private sector, doubling the number of states with such laws compared to 2016. Governance, risk, and management (or GRC), therefore, is growing in scope across many industries.

More and more organisations are digitising their information systems via cloud computing, using advanced artificial intelligence technologies, improving their cybersecurity and data privacy to meet GRC standards. Cyber monitoring is an integral part of reducing risk and maintaining general compliance measures.

Knowing and Tracking Your Cyber Enemies

Cyber monitoring not only enables you to detect and respond to threats faster but also learn from them to improve your security in the future.

Continuous monitoring can help you keep track of everything happening in your network. This gives you the tools and time to analyze, record, and respond to potential threats. Cyber monitoring can also provide insight into who is attacking your network and how to prepare your network systems against future attempts.

Your IT team can learn about the type, classification, ownership, and operating system of the devices that present potential threats to your network, for example. Monitoring software provides your organisation with analytics and reports on these devices and the dangers they pose, allowing you to monitor them closely and prevent future attacks.

Cyber Monitoring for Smaller Organisations

Security Monitoring

Adequate cyber monitoring is a necessity for every organisation, not just major corporations. It is quickly becoming a high-priority IT practice for smaller businesses and organisations that have not invested in their cybersecurity to take on. But what exactly is causing cybersecurity to become such an urgent issue for today’s small businesses?

In 2018, the Ponemon Institute reported that 67% of small and medium-sized businesses faced a cyberattack within the year, and 58% had their data breached. Attacks against small businesses are becoming all too common, and they often lack the resources to recover. Larger organisations may receive bailouts from governments or banks to aid in their recovery, but smaller companies rarely receive such assistance.

For small businesses, therefore, it is essential to catch threats before they can cause irreparable harm. Having continuous cyber monitoring to protect your data from hackers can provide a safety net for your organisation. Small businesses spend, on average, only $500 on cybersecurity, leaving them susceptible to cybercrime. Prioritising proactive cybersecurity could make or break your organisation.

With cyber monitoring, your network is fortified against the thousands of security events that occur each day. Cyber tracking can also give your company a competitive edge. 87% of consumers report that data security factors into their purchasing decisions. Yet only 25% trust how most companies manage sensitive information, giving organisations that can demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity the potential for a considerable advantage over their competitors.

5 Reasons Why You Need 24×7 Cyber Security Monitoring

Hundreds and even thousands of security events can flood your network every hour of every day. Your team may have a significant challenge of sifting through these events to identify the threats that could pose a risk of compromise.

Continuous or 24×7 cybersecurity monitoring through an experienced security services provider can drastically improve your threat alerts and help you spend more time on your security strategies. Here are five solid reasons you should consider 24×7 cybersecurity monitoring in the year ahead.  

The Cybersecurity Landscape Has Changed Drastically

Organisations face a troubling threat landscape like never before. Global cybercrime is predicted to reach more than $2.1 trillion in 2019. You hear about new massive data breaches almost monthly. The top enterprise organisations have a tough time keeping up with the influx of threats hitting their security teams every day.  

Small and mid-size businesses are not exempt either. SMBs are the next target for cybercriminals as enterprise organisations direct more investment into cybersecurity defences. Both enterprise and SMBs face an onslaught of challenges, not to mention a lack of internal resources and a market for skilled cybersecurity professionals to manage everything.

Having a security partner that can monitor your environment on a 24x7x365 basis is where the market is headed. Gartner predicts that security outsourcing will be a significant cybersecurity investment category in the years ahead.

Stringent Compliance & Regulatory Requirements

This year, security leaders are focused on addressing new compliance and regulatory requirements that could cost them millions in fines and penalties for non-compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is among the first and most pressing new global regulation efforts to affect multinational organisations and businesses processing EU subject data. Not to mention, currently working on a new bill called the Data Security and Breach Notification Act. A first-ever Federal regulation that will penalise companies that are hacked.

Nearly every country is now taking consumer data privacy and protection more seriously by introducing new legislation to hold organisations accountable. It becomes critically important that your company takes measures to reduce data compromise and security controls to safeguard consumer data. That’s why continuous network and security monitoring from an experienced provider is the preferred choice for many organisations.

Minimise Data Breaches

A team of experts that review security events and logs on a 24×7 basis can help you improve your Mean-Time-to-Detect (MTTD). The average MTTD, according to the 2017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study, for a survey of 491 companies was 191 days with a range of 24 to 546 days. Imagine a hacker within your environment in that time frame. How much damage do you think one hacker or many could do during that time? Once a threat actor enters your setting, they can wreak havoc on systems and endpoints and eventually steal your data or hold your information at ransom.

In the same Ponemon report, hackers and criminal insiders were the cause of most data breaches. spend the highest amount per record at $224 and $201 per record on resolving a data breach. In the recent Equifax data breach with over 140 million records exposed, the company most likely saw a cost of more than $32 billion to resolve the issue. Not only did the company experience a financial loss because of the breach and a negative brand and shareholder reputation.

Improve Your Mean-Time-To-Respond

The core metric for many security teams to measure their effectiveness is in Mean-Time-Detect and Mean-Time-To-Respond. Once your security team identifies or detects a threat and creates an alert, it becomes a matter of how much time is spent on containing and remediating the threat. The MTTR in the Ponemon Cost of Data Breaches report found that the average for organisations was 66 days with a range of 10 to 164 days.

Some organisations have millions of dollars invested in firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and more, but these technologies can generate thousands of alerts daily. This can cause your IT or security team to suffer alert fatigue. With 24×7 cyber security monitoring, your organisation can significantly improve your MTTD and MTTR with the right alerts. A group of security analysts at a managed security services provider can leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and orchestration to improve warnings and identify the events that matter.

Knowing Who Your Adversaries Are With Threat Intelligence

Data breaches that go on for months are a result of poor detection and response capabilities. Cyber attacks and breaches can happen to anyone, which brings the need for around-the-clock awareness of your security environment. If you know exactly what’s happening and can sift through the noise of all your devices, you can start to make sense of what’s happening.

Continuous monitoring paired with threat intelligence feeds can take your security detection and response capabilities to the next level. Threat intelligence in conjunction with 24×7 monitoring enables you to know precisely who your threat actors are, how they operate, and how likely they are to hack your organisation.

Identifying threats as soon as possible is critical in today’s threat landscape. As we saw above, threats often go undetected and result in severe fines or a damaged brand and shareholder reputation. A 24×7 cyber security monitoring service helps you overcome significant challenges in your network security. A highly certified security provider can become an extension of your team and help you offload the tedious task of filtering through hundreds and even thousands of alerts. Explore the benefits of managed security services in our whitepaper below.

24/7 Cyber Security Monitoring Services

In an age of unpredictable and sophisticated threats, traditional means of security monitoring is not always enough to deter aggressive attacks. Our comprehensive cybersecurity monitoring services extend far beyond compliance monitoring to deliver businesses with proactive detection of threats, reduced incident response time and an in-depth evaluation of existing security measures. Avoid the risk of unwanted downtime, security threats and network intrusion with our unique multi-layered approach to cyber monitoring. Our team will monitor your system using real-time threat intelligence to allow you more time to focus on core business functions.

Managing Security Risks

From malware and hackers to disgruntled employees and vulnerable devices, companies in all industries face some level of security threat. As these threats are not always avoidable and often unexpected, it is the responsibility of these businesses to take the necessary measures to protect their livelihood. Values defend against modern cyber threats and effectively consults our clients through a proven methodology to ensure security compliance. Monitoring allows your business to remain following organisational policies, as well as comply with regulatory or legal requirements. We manage security risks in some ways, such as by:

  • Establishing a monitoring strategy based on the assessment of risk and business needs.
  • Monitoring all systems, networks and services to ensure full security coverage.
  • Monitoring both inbound and outbound network traffic to identify unusual trends or activities quickly.
  • Monitoring user activity to identify accidental or unauthorised misuse of data or systems.
  • Keeping a record of events and generating alerts to inform clients of possible security issues.

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