This year we’ve seen major data breaches from many large organizations including Cognizant and GoDaddy , and perhaps surprisingly, some repeat offenders such as Marriott who recently announced they suffered another breach affecting 5.2 million guests.

The news has no shortage of data breaches, cyberattacks and stories about organizations struggling to negotiate with hackers holding their data to ransom. In the first four months of this year alone, BlackFog tracked 54 ransomware attacks, a number that is climbing fast.

Being a CISO in 2020 is a tough job. Cybercrime is a lucrative business and cybercriminals are always on the hunt for their next victim. With threats advancing quickly, it’s perhaps not surprising that the average security team is struggling to manage 57.1 different security tools to try and avoid becoming the next victim. With a global cybersecurity market worth a massive $173B and  dozens of security tools in place in IT departments, why are so many organizations still being held to ransom and hitting the headlines for breaching data privacy regulations?

The question we need to ask is why are these attacks still so successful? And is there a way to really outsmart cybercriminals and prevent data theft?

Prevention is the best form of defense

BlackFog believes that preventing data breaches and maintaining data privacy requires a new way of thinking. To stay ahead of cybercriminals, CISO’s inevitably have to change the way they think about data security. The traditional defensive approach of protecting the perimeter with firewalls and anti-virus software simply isn’t enough.  It is well known that 80% of successful attacks bypass existing systems, despite the best efforts of IT departments. In fact, recent research from BlackFog has discovered many attacks now disable existing security services before even mounting an attack.

It has become a truism in the security industry that there are two types of companies: those who know they’ve been hacked and those who don’t. The defensive paradigm no longer works. What we need is a new paradigm. The hackers are going to get in so the focus must be on preventing them from removing any data.

Instead of relying on existing perimeter defense techniques, new approaches focus on prevention by using behavioural profiling to stop the attack at different stages of its lifecycle using data exfiltration. For an attack to be successful, a hacker needs to communicate with an external server, for key exchange, payload download or simply to remove data. By blocking this exfiltration, you can significantly mitigate the risk of a data breach. This approach allows the CISO to move from a defensive to proactive approach, regaining control and neutralizing the attack, a welcome reversal of roles.

We know from experience that a hacker who wants to infiltrate a device or network will get in, eventually. The challenge is in preventing the attacks in the first place and ensuring attackers cannot remove data from the device, eliminating data breaches all together.

By looking at the problem from a new perspective and using the right tools, CISO’s and their security teams can out maneuver cybercriminals to ensure they aren’t named and shamed in the next data breach headline.