January 11, 2023 Blogs 9 min read

Every move you make, cyber criminals are watching you… how KYND’s continuous monitoring helps you stay ahead of cyber threats


Continuous Monitoring

In the highly digitised world of the 21st century, there are three things you can watch forever: fire burning, water flowing, and… your organisation’s cyber risks changing. KYND has been pioneering continuous risk monitoring long before it became a necessity, and we’d love to share what we’ve learned over the past few years.

In this new blog, we dive into the benefits of continuous monitoring to your business in light of rising cyber-attacks and the changing regulatory ecosystem, and explain how ongoing threat visibility can serve as a guarantee for effective cyber risk management within your organisation.

According to a report by CheckPoint Research, global cyber attacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The average weekly number of cyber-attacks per organisation reached a staggering 1,130. If that weren’t enough, a government report by the Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that 31% of businesses estimate they experienced a cyber attack at least once a week, and 20% of those businesses say they experienced a negative outcome as a direct consequence of a cyber attack.

To take it out of the realm of statistics, real world examples are occupying headlines more and more in recent months. US education technology company Chegg was recently sued by the FTC after they were revealed to have exposed the sensitive information of 40 million customers and employees in four data breaches that have all occurred since 2017. Not only was this data leaked, but it was later found for sale on the black market. In similar news, fast fashion giant SHEIN was fined $1.9m by the State of New York for lying about a data breach that exposed the data of 39 million customers, 6.4 million of whom were directly affected.

This avalanche of terrifying statistics and incidents only drives home the importance of keeping abreast of cyber threats before they have a devastating impact on your business. One way to do this is to have a continuous monitoring program in place to make sure you’re aware of cyber vulnerabilities as they arise in your business and in the constantly evolving threat landscape.

Why do companies need continuous monitoring?

Long gone are the days when a static snapshot of an organisation’s cyber risks created during an annual risk assessment was considered sufficient to evaluate their risk posture and implement security measures to adequately protect the organisation from falling victim to cybercrime. A picture doesn’t always say a thousand words! Given the speed and complexity of cyber-attacks, and new vulnerabilities emerging daily, there is now a significant risk that in between those periodic risk checks, changes to that organisation’s infrastructure and cyber risk profile may have happened without their knowledge. Having no real-time risk visibility between security audits can have a detrimental impact on a business and their cyber resilience. Lags in cyber risk assessments may hamper critical business operations and leave the organisation exposed to cyber-attacks down the road.

This is precisely why proactive cyber risk management is nearly impossible without having a robust continuous monitoring capability in place. Continuous monitoring provides a curated ongoing montage of the most important cyber vulnerabilities facing a business, so that they can take steps to mitigate these threats and reduce their overall cyber risk.

Continuous monitoring provides businesses with enhanced visibility. As regulatory compliance requirements become more stringent, and companies are levied with increasingly devastating fines over their failures to protect customer and client data, it’s important for organisations to stay on top of managing their attack surface. By being prepared for the worst, faster recovery from cyber-attacks is possible before the cyber criminals have a chance to inflict too much damage.

Human error will always be a factor in cyber risks, due to the prevalence of phishing scams and other cyber attack methods that prey on employee behaviour. By staying on top of your existing vulnerabilities, you’re able to focus time and effort on training employees on how to stay vigilant against cyber threats, and reducing the overall risk.

How does continuous monitoring work?

Continuous monitoring is exactly what it sounds like: Rather than a one-off snapshot of an organisation’s risk profile, continuous monitoring scans your organisation for vulnerabilities on a regular basis, highlighting risks as they arise, prioritising them in order of importance and threat.

While it’s clear that continuous monitoring is a process that every company should be engaged in, there’s no getting around the fact that doing it manually is an arduous and labour intensive process. It’s possible to engage certain outside risk management companies to provide you with information regarding your risk profile, usually in the form of a one-off risk report, and some will go one step further to provide you with continuous cyber risk monitoring services.

What are the benefits of continuous monitoring?

Around-the-clock cyber exposure monitoring

Continuous monitoring is an essential element of an organisation’s overall cyber resilience strategy to defend against digital threats lurking in cyberspace. Having an ever-vigilant vulnerability monitoring in place enables you to easily detect potential cyber threats facing your organisation and take action for its prompt remediation before these weak spots turn into attractive attack vectors for opportunistic cybercriminals. Empowering organisations with actionable real-time visibility into their cyber risk posture to make strategic remediation decisions, continuous monitoring is strongly encouraged in organisations’ risk management processes as a pre-emptive measure.

An undeniable must-have in any organisation’s arsenal to defend itself against cyber-attacks, continuous monitoring can also help you out on the other side of the situation, too. Imagine that the worst has already happened, and your organisation has fallen victim to a data breach. What would you be most concerned about? The compromise of your customers’ personal data? Outside source or even worse - your competitors having access to your confidential data and contracts? Whilst these all seem to be valid сoncerns, they are only possible in one case - if you’re aware of the cyber incident. Which, sadly, may not always be the case. In fact, according to this year’s Cost of a Data Breach report by IBM, it takes 207 days on average to detect a data breach within an organisation, and the average time to contain it is 70 days; totalling a whooping 9-month long breach lifecycle.

So the real question is, how can organisations get better in spotting data breaches? As you may have already guessed, the answer lies in continuous monitoring. Whilst there is no silver bullet to stop cyber-attacks from happening, effective continuous monitoring can help you detect emerging threats as early as possible in the event of a breach and significantly minimise the risk of data loss, financial repercussions, operational disruption or reputational damage.

Easier data security protection compliance

A recent report by the IBM Security and Ponemon Institute revealed that the average cost of a data breach in 2022 reached an all-time high of $4.35 million. This startlingly high figure stems from the fines that the EU data protection authorities impose on organisations that fail to secure customer data adequately, or take the necessary steps. Under the GDPR, fines imposed can mount up to £18 million, or 4% of an organisation's worldwide turnover – whichever is higher. The ICO also imposes fines on UK operated businesses that fail to comply with UK data protection law. Recently, TikTok was found to have breached data protection regulations for a failure to protect children’s privacy when using the TikTok platform, and could face a £27 million fine from the ICO as a result.

Continuous monitoring is a solution to make sure you don’t fall foul to these potentially crippling fines. By staying abreast of emerging cyber threats you can demonstrate that you have performed your cyber due diligence correctly and have made every effort to avoid a data breach. Continuous monitoring alerts you to new threats as they arise so you can take mitigating action to prevent any possible exploitation of these vulnerabilities.

Simpler third-party monitoring

There has been a notable rise in supply chain attacks, a problem which has only increased in severity after the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread pivoting to digitising processes and remote working. This particular angle of attack has grown by a whopping 430% in 2021, according to a report from world-leading French reinsurer SCOR. Many of the highest profile cyber breaches have been as a result of a third-party service employee accessing an organisation’s systems remotely, without any two-factor authentication (2FA) or other security measures in place.

Continuous monitoring doesn’t only have to focus inwards - by making sure that all third-party service providers that you employ are taking care of their cyber risk profile, you avoid a commonly exploited avenue for cyber criminals to hone in on. This is an important part of cyber due diligence, and continuous monitoring makes it easier to check new suppliers for adequate cyber security before employing them, and alerts you to new threats as they arise throughout the lifecycle of the provider’s tenure.

How KYND can help

KYND’s robust monitoring service continuously scans for new and existing threats and alerts you as they arise. With KYND, you can prevent the worst from happening by making sure you’re aware of every action you need to take in order to prevent the worst vulnerabilities from being the reason for a catastrophic data breach and resultant devastating fine.

No business is an impenetrable fortress; you can never be 100% safe from cyber threats! But KYND has a long history of continuous risk monitoring and we’ve implemented everything we’ve learned into bigger and better products, in order to greatly minimise the potential fallout of a cyber attack. With KYND’s continuous monitoring service, an organisation can identify risks as they appear or evolve, and prioritise and plan remediation activities to improve its cyber defences. If you’re interested in learning more about how KYND can support you in protecting your business and data, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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