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IBM’s 2018 Data Breach Study Shows Why We’re In A Zero Trust World Now

These and many other insights into the escalating costs of security breaches are from the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study sponsored by IBM Security with research independently conducted by Ponemon Institute LLC. The report is downloadable here (PDF, 47 pp. no opt-in).

The study is based on interviews with more than 2,200 compliance, data protection and IT professionals from 477 companies located in 15 countries and regions globally who have experienced a data breach in the last 12 months. This is the first year the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and security automation are included in the study. The study also defines mega breaches as those involving over 1 million records and costing $40M or more. Please see pages 5, 6 and 7 of the study for specifics on the methodology.

The report is a quick read and the data provided is fascinating. One can’t help but reflect on how legacy security technologies designed to protect digital businesses decades ago isn’t keeping up with the scale, speed and sophistication of today’s breach attempts. The most common threat surface attacked is compromised privileged credential access. 81% of all breaches exploit identity according to an excellent study from Centrify and Dow Jones Customer Intelligence, CEO Disconnect is Weakening Cybersecurity (31 pp, PDF, opt-in).

The bottom line from the IBM, Centrify and many other studies is that we’re in a Zero Trust Security (ZTS) world now and the sooner a digital business can excel at it, the more protected they will be from security threats. ZTS begins with Next-Gen Access (NGA) by recognizing that every employee’s identity is the new security perimeter for any digital business.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

Conclusion

The IBM study foreshadows an increasing level of speed, scale, and sophistication when it comes to how breaches are orchestrated. With the average breach globally costing $4.36M and breach costs and lost customer revenue soaring in the U.S,. it’s clear we’re living in a world where Zero Trust should be the new mandate.

Zero Trust Security starts with Next-Gen Access to secure every endpoint and attack surface a digital business relies on for daily operations, and limit access and privilege to protect the “keys to the kingdom,” which gives hackers the most leverage. Security software providers including Centrify are applying advanced analytics and machine learning to thwart breaches and many other forms of attacks that seek to exploit weak credentials and too much privilege. Zero Trust is a proven way to stay at parity or ahead of escalating threats.

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