Marilyn Wilkinson, September 2023

6 Key Steps to Improve Your Data Breach Response Time 

Data breaches have become an unfortunate reality for businesses of all sizes. These breaches can be devastating, not only compromising sensitive information, but also tarnishing a company’s reputation.  

Responding to a data breach swiftly and effectively is crucial to mitigate its impact. In this article, we will explore how long it takes to identify and contain a breach, the role of AI, and how organizations can improve their response time. 

What is Data Breach Response Time?

A data breach occurs when unauthorized individuals gain access to a company’s sensitive information. This information can include customer data, intellectual property, financial records, and more.  

When a data breach happens, it’s essential to act fast to minimize the damage, prevent further unauthorized access or data loss, and protect affected individuals’ sensitive information. This means companies need to 1. identify the breach and 2. contain it. How long it takes to do this is known as the data breach response time.  

How Long Does It Take Companies to Identify a Breach?

Cybercriminals often employ a sophisticated and discreet approach to their activities, operating in a manner that goes unnoticed. Once they gain access to a network, they might launch an obvious, high-profile attack. However, it is often more lucrative to lurk in the background, adopting a sneaky, long-term approach to achieve their objectives.   

As a result, breaches often go undetected for months. According to IBM’s 2023 data security report, companies take 204 days on average to identify a breach and an additional 73 days to contain it. That’s over half a year! 

Ransomware attacks take even longer. According to the same research, companies need 320 days to identify and contain breaches disclosed by the attacker.  

Of course, these are averages. Some data breaches go undetected for much longer. When hackers infiltrated the reservation system at Mariott Hotel’s Starwood hotel line, it took the hotel four years to realize. This exposed guests’ confidential credit card details and landed the company with a $23.8 million penalty.  

The Cost of Delayed Response

The specific response time can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the organization’s size, complexity, available resources, and the nature of the breach itself.  

However, the longer a breach goes unnoticed and uncontained, the more costly it becomes. Data breaches that lasted over 200 days cost organizations 23% more on average.  

How Can an Organization Improve Response Time?

Now, we will explore proactive strategies that organizations can employ to enhance their data breach response capabilities: 

  1. Adopt an Incident Response Plan (IRP) 

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines roles, responsibilities, and the sequence of actions to be taken in case of a breach. This plan should be well-documented, regularly updated, and tested through simulations to ensure its effectiveness. Having a well-structured IRP in place is crucial for a swift and coordinated response when a breach occurs. It helps streamline decision-making processes and minimizes confusion during a crisis. 

  1. Conduct Employee Training to Raise Awareness 

Invest in ongoing employee training programs that educate staff on security best practices and how to recognize potential threats. Employees are often the first line of defense against breaches, so their awareness and preparedness are critical. Training should cover topics such as phishing awareness, password hygiene, and incident reporting procedures. An informed workforce can contribute significantly to early breach detection and containment. 

  1. Perform Regular Security Audits  

Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to proactively identify and address potential weaknesses in your organization’s security posture. These assessments help in identifying vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and areas of improvement. Regularly patching and updating systems and software is an essential part of this process. 

  1. Implement a DevSecOps Approach 

DevSecOps, short for Development, Security, and Operations puts security considerations at the forefront of the software development lifecycle. Traditionally, security was more of an afterthought.  

This shift enables developers to address security issues as they write code, making it easier to fix issues early and reduce the chances of vulnerabilities lingering undetected. This approach prevents security flaws from entering the final product, ultimately reducing the likelihood and impact of data breaches. 

  1. Leverage AI & Automation 

Automating security workflows with AI can help identify and contain data breaches more efficiently. 

A recent study compared the impact of a data breach on companies with extensive, limited and no use of AI-based security. Extensive use of AI reduced the time to identify and contain a breach by more than 100 days.  Organizations with limited use of AI were still able to identify and contain a breach 88 days faster than organizations not using AI at all.  

Therefore, it’s worth integrating AI into your security workflows and keeping up with advancements in this area. 

  1. Protect Your Central File System with a Multi-Layered Approach 

Companies typically rely on three main cybersecurity strategies: endpoint detection, network detection, and backups. However, these traditional measures don’t do a good enough job of protecting the central storage layer. This central file system is where valuable data is stored and accessed by employees on a daily basis, making it a prime target for ransomware attacks. 

That’s where CryptoSpike from ProLion comes in. CryptoSpike provides an additional layer of protection directly integrated with your storage system. This integration acts as a “last chance” defense, swiftly identifying and blocking threats to minimize disruption and potential data loss.  

This multi-layered approach significantly enhances an organization’s ability to respond to data breaches and attacks in real time. 

How Does CryptoSpike Improve Data Breach Response Times?

CryptoSpike is the leading ransomware protection solution designed specifically for storage systems, and an essential part of your overall security strategy. Here are the key ways it can help you identify and contain data breaches, ensuring a fast response time: 

  • Instantly detect anomalies: CryptoSpike analyzes data access in real time and immediately detects anomalies. 
  • Block suspicious users: CryptoSpike automatically blocks suspicious users from accessing your files and sends an alert to administrators warning them of the incident. 
  • Restore corrupt files right away: With the “single file restore” feature, you can restore corrupt files without touching your other data. So, in the event of an attack, you can get back your business-critical files in just a few clicks.  

Want to Improve Your Company’s Data Breach Response Time?

ProLion has helped 650+ companies across the globe safeguard their business-critical files against data breaches. Get in touch with our team of cybersecurity experts to learn about our storage-level protection that detects threats in real time.  

Prefer to keep reading? Download our white paper Ransomware Protection Strategies to learn about the importance of a multi-layered approach.  

About ProLion

ProLion offers powerful data protection solutions that safeguard critical storage and backup data, on-premises or in the cloud. From ransomware protection that detects threats in real time to data transparency, our industry-leading solutions ensure your storage system remains secure, compliant, manageable, and accessible around the clock.