Securing the Remedy Before the Breach

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Eldar Tuvey


A security breach can damage a business's reputation, tarnish a client relationship and result in collateral damage that could take years to remedy. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a variety of high profile companies suffer the aftermath of a data breach; from jobs lost and businesses ruined, to the destruction of customer loyalty. It is clear that when it comes to a security breach, prevention is the best remedy.

Mobile breaches in particular present a unique challenge. Any response to a cyber breach is complicated, but this complexity is often worsened due to the personal nature of a mobile device itself. With the adoption of BYOD and work emails being accessed on personal devices, a tangled web of data cross-pollination is being created that can increase productivity, but can also present significant security risks.

Wandera research has shown that companies globally spend twice as much cleaning up mobile security breaches than they do on investments in mobile security software. The study also revealed that more than 28 percent of U.S. companies reported having suffered a mobile breach over the course of a year – with the cost of remedying the breach at $250,000 to $400,000 in many cases.

There are three basic, but crucial, steps that organizations must take to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared to remedy a mobile data breach.

  1. Assess and notify

    This should be at the top of the to do list when a breach occurs, as the news will need to be immediately shared within your organization. Too often businesses are silent when data breaches occur. The fear of discovery – from competitors, government regulators or customers – outweighs the importance of having a wider discussion throughout the organization.

    When it comes to a mobile data breach, businesses need to realize that the situation is different. The split personality of a mobile device serves an individual as well as the business. The faster the company notifies all that are involved and shares intelligence on what was breached, the less of a ripple effect the breach will have.

    Device users will need to change passwords – not just those used within the company, but any that were put at risk – and take defensive steps if sensitive data such as contact lists, credit cards, business or personal images and location information was leaked.

  2. Perform a forensics analysis

    To truly clean up a breach, the business must understand how it occurred and exactly what was put at risk. The only way to perform a post breach forensics investigation is to start with visibility across the mobile fleet in the first place.

    To get ahead before a breach occurs, companies should invest in a mobile threat defense solution that can provide data on how the breach occurred, which users were impacted and provide clues as to which data may have been compromised. By having complete visibility of the issue, businesses will be more aware of what the next move needs to be to minimize further damage.

  3. Improve defenses

    The visibility that is obtained during a forensics investigation can also pave the way for improved defenses via policy controls in the future. Many IT teams typically rollout an open mobility program to start, allowing users to install their own apps and ensure there are no restrictions on the websites they can access.

    As breaches occur, compliance violations are observed and as productivity concerns are raised, IT will often need to take a step back and implement mobile policies to ensure that these corporate resources are used effectively and securely. After a breach, companies need to take a close look at their access policies and ensure they are taking adequate steps to protect mobile data, while simultaneously ensuring that users can stay productive.

Unfortunately, today it’s less about ‘if’ there will be a breach, and more about ‘when’ a business will discover they have hacked. With hacking attacks on US organizations costing an average of $15.4 million per year, it’s clear that businesses need to put strategic operations in place to ensure they can successfully move forward after a hack has taken place. This is a sad truth for organizations globally, but companies must be prepared to mitigate a pending hack and put coordinated plans in place for the unthinkable.

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