This is a new chapter in our “007 Life Lessons through the Verizon Breach Report” series, which combines lessons from the gadget wielding international crime-fighter, James Bond with data from the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report to secure our enterprises. Today is the turn of lesson 6: Humility.
These lessons come from a presentation by our CEO Anders Norremo and Jason Torres from Rush University Medical Center last year at the 7th Annual Hacking Conference by ISACA and The Institute of Internal Auditors.
Humility: A lesson on knowing your strengths and building through your weaknesses
When rewatching the movies to prepare this series, we realized that James Bond has a slight inferiority complex. It may not always show, but he often uses humor as a shield and a weapon to reveal insecurities of others or intimidate people who are a threat to him.
Differences aside, cybersecurity leaders also have that slight inferiority complex sometimes. All the defenses, corporate experience and credentials in the world won’t be enough for a CISO to feel safe from cyber risk—an invisible enemy that it sometimes feel that we can’t defeat.
It’s important to understand that we can’t be perfect and do everything right, nor have the perfectly secured vendor ecosystem, especially where there are budget constraints. So focus on what matters: Where is your company on the TPRM maturity curve?
The reason why we analyze the Verizon Data Breach Report is because it helps us understand where the risks are coming from. Knowing that, you can determine the controls you need to focus on.
Security Risk Assessments, Maturity Assessments, Gap Assessments… As a community, we have a lot of data on the security posture of our organizations. We know the risks, we know the shortfalls, we know the gaps. What are we doing about these? Could we get any help internally and externally through vendor partnerships and government organizations? Once again, Bond teaches us a lesson on the importance of country and loyalty to institutions.
What the numbers are saying
Cybercriminals still use the most common techniques at the lower cost. The concept of “low hanging fruit” is still a thing in cybersecurity, where attackers try to seize what they can easily get their hands on instead of launching a sophisticated, targeted attack.
Who are the low-hanging fruit in our industry? Millions of organizations from all sizes and all over the world that believe they’re not interesting enough for cybercriminals and, as a result, do too little for their cybersecurity.
According to Verizons’s report, the most common breach methods are cyber attacks (which again, might not always be highly sophisticated or targeted but rather low effort techniques), and errors (which again, we all make as we’re not perfect).
Drilling down on the second category, errors stand out with 22%, but we need to consider most of them are not even malicious. Think of a misconfiguration of an Amazon S3 bucket or sending an email to the wrong person…
Human mistakes are easily made and no system or organization is perfect, so that’s the first lesson on humility.
However we need to make our best effort to reduce the margin of error. Also, remember no security measure is enough on its own unless combined with more layers of security.
So what’s your baseline security looking like? Have you prioritized defenses in the areas most commonly associated with a breach?
You need to step up your game with proactive identification, in order to block the vectors an attacker would need to compromise your network. Take how many steps away from them as you can!
At ThirdPartyTrust, we built automation into the assessment, onboarding and upkeep of all vendors, making it easier to oversee the health and security of the entire third-party ecosystem. Proactive risk identification and monitoring via automation and continuous scanning can be the difference between resolving a cheap risk or explaining a costly data breach.
All in all, be as smooth as ice like a good Vodka Martini
Security teams and defenses might not be flawless, but we can’t give up. As a community we should all come together and take a network-based approach to help each other out in any way that we can.
When you think there is no hope left because cyber risks are a threatening enemy, remember that in the end, the good guys always win.
To learn more about how ThirdPartyTrust can help you manage third-party risk across your organization, request your free trial now: