Your call to action

Conclusion: Your call to action

Preparing for and defending against a cyberattack has been a priority of security and IT professionals for some time. But many organizations are underprepared for reacting to an actual breach.

Incident response is so multifaceted — and so critical — that CEOs must play a leadership role in driving comprehensive response programs across their organizations. They should make incident response an investment and operational priority to see to it that any damages caused by a major breach are kept to a minimum.

We've seen firsthand the damage that can occur when organizations don't react quickly and decisively to a breach. We've also witnessed how organizations that are well prepared can limit the short- and long-term damage of a successful cyberattack.

The cyberthreat landscape is constantly evolving. But our data shows that the majority of threats are well known and easily defended — if you have the right controls and planning in place. A tailored incident response plan, with a core cross-functional team, is an integral part of this preparation.

Our experience working with customers and protecting our own global network has given us insight into a playbook for incident response, which we have shared with you. Our research has shown that organizations that are more proactive about cybersecurity exhibit higher levels of profits, growth, and customer satisfaction.

Preparation is the key to a robust breach response. To ensure that your organization can react quickly and limit damage you should:

  • Invest in prevention and detection technologies to defend against day-to-day attacks
  • Build a response team that includes all key internal stakeholders, from the C-suite to first responders
  • Have a clear plan for the first 24 hours after breach detection
  • Conduct regular tabletop exercises
  • Establish protocols with your service providers on breach response

It's impossible to predict when you'll be hit by a cyberbreach. The ability to respond quickly and thoroughly will determine whether the breach becomes a minor footnote or a major distraction that inhibits company growth for years to come.

Endnotes and sources

  1. AT&T/IDC, Global Cybersecurity Readiness, 2016
  2. Experian/Ponemon, Is Your Company Ready for a Big Data Breach?, 2015
  3. AT&T/IDC, Global Cybersecurity Readiness
  4. ibid
  5. ibid
  6. AT&T/National Cybersecurity Alliance, Cybersecurity Survey of State Legislators and Staff, 2016
  7. CyberEdge Group, Cyberthreat Defense Report 2016
  8. Experian/Ponemon, Is Your Company Ready for a Big Data Breach?
  9. ibid
  10. ibid
  11. ibid
  12. Norton, S. (2015, Nov. 10). ‘Ransomware’ Attacks to Grow in 2016, Says Intel’s McAfee Labs [Web blog post].
  13. PwC/CSO, Global State of Information Security Survey 2016, 2015