Business intelligence is crucial for cybersecurity plans
Business intelligence is a catch-all term, but these days have significant – if not exclusive – application to cybersecurity environments. Business intelligence refers to the data acquired when examining everything in a cybersecurity climate, from endpoints to intrusions, how intrusions occurred, information loss, downtime (or lack thereof), and numerous other tidbits. The key is taking this information and pushing it into usable, understandable reports and rule sets.
Building a plan, however, especially in today’s active threat climate, is easier said than done. And, there’s no one single way to utilize business intelligence. Every organization has its own set of unique needs and demands, so working with those needs is key.
Establishing threat tiers
All that said, there are meaningful foundations a business can implement to forge a powerful business intelligence roadmap. Threat tiers sound exactly as described: placing known (and potential) dangers in separate categories, ranked from least-to-most dangerous. It’s also worth noting that threats are different for each organization.
That isn’t to suggest an SMB is exempt from threat actors like ransomware attacks. However, for instance, an SMB isn’t likely to face a full-scale sabotage effort by experienced government actors. The reason for this important distinction is because you don’t want to over-invest in unlikely scenarios. Cyber attacks are inherently costly, so an unwise allocation of resources ends badly for everyone.
For example, a tier chart can have the following breakdown:
- Threat actor (the named/entity potential threat, like ransomware)
- Categories of the business a threat actor can impact (financial services, all services, IT, etc)
- Risk rank (based on the potential damage and impact in case of successful intrusion)
- Likelihood (the chance a threat actor will penetrate a network)
Naturally, a tiered chart can look as desired by an enterprise. In those categories, creating context-based descriptors helps intelligence teams understand threat actors and their capabilities.
Understanding hacker goals
Getting a picture of what malicious actors are ultimately after help understand their motives and what they’ll target. Though, as data shows, it’s unsurprisingly focused on money and financial gains. Instability caused by various factors, such as COVID-19, has also created a fertile climate for malicious entities.
Again, from SMBs to major enterprises, ransomware attacks and phishing strikes have no bias. Where there’s money to be made, assume you are a target. More so, assume you will sustain an attack. Attackers, also, are not concerned with the human cost involved and will pursue healthcare, government, and education networks if there’s potential for monetary gain.
That can help build a comprehensive, proactive defense plan against what malicious actors may do, and how they’ll accomplish their goals (or attempt to).
Why it’s important
If for no other reason than improving your own cybersecurity infrastructure, then building a plan based on comprehensive intelligence is good for cost factors. That is to say, saving your enterprise from cost. Average downtime events combined with data loss in a post ransomware attack, for example, can number between thousands to millions in damages. For an SMB, that’s enough to sink a whole organization.
Following that, the damage to brand strength is immense, shattering consumer trust, raising brows with potential investors, and capping a companies’ ability to conduct future business.
Fortunately, there are guidelines available by CISA and cybersecurity intelligence to help establish comprehensive strategies and plans. Doing so also requires keeping a close eye on data trends, attacker motives, targets, and monitoring of enterprise networks.
Even robust organizations with experts and a wealth of resources can struggle to build a comprehensive business intelligence plan. If you need assistance, consider the aid an MSP can provide. Managed service providers draw from an extensive background of cybersecurity expertise, ready to aid your enterprise.