The cyber-threat landscape is becoming more sophisticated and coordinated. According to the Symantec 2014 Internet Security Threat Report, last year was “The Year of the Mega Data Breach.” More zero-day vulnerabilities were discovered last year than in any other year; the number of total breaches was up by 62% versus the previous year; and the number of identities exposed increased by nearly 500%, to a staggering total of 552 million.
The Year of the Mega Data Breach: more zero-day vulnerabilities were discovered last year than in any other year.
The first step in minimizing the risk of a damaging breach is for the organization to work toward closely aligning its IT and business concerns. IT must build a close relationship with business decision leaders, including engaging in regular discussions to understand how they view the benefits and risks associated with cyber-security. From there, it is important to perform a full threat modeling assessment to understand your risk and exposure.
What does that assessment entail? It starts with understanding what vital information you have, where it is located, who is using it, what value does it hold, how is it currently protected, and what about your infrastructure and/or processes have vulnerabilities or put it at risk. You also need to perform an assessment of your supply chain. As part of the preparation, you should be taking advantage of the latest advances in threat modeling intelligence and data discovery tools. Threat modeling will give you a much greater understanding of the entire threat landscape, which is particularly important in this era of increasingly coordinated and sophisticated attacks. The more intelligence you have about how and where threats may be coming from—and how they may be launched—the more intelligently you can prepare to deal with them, including the creation of an effective response plan.