In June, McAfee released their “Needle in a Haystack” study demonstrating the depth to which business are made vulnerable by improper data storage and analysis. The firm polled 500 senior IT decision makers, and found that over 22 percent of companies could identify a security breach “in a day”. Five percent of respondents said it could take up to a week to detect the breach. While 35 percent said that they could identify a breach “quickly”, according to the study the average firm takes about 10 hours to discover a security threat.
Of the 500 organizations polled in the study, 58 percent had suffered a security breach in the past year. Only 24 percent of those organizations were able to detect the problem within a matter of minutes. Of course, detecting the problem is only half the battle; of those who were aware of the breach, only 14 percent were actually able to identify the source within minutes. It took at least a day for 33 percent of respondents to detect the source of the breach, and 16 percent of organizations couldn’t find the problem for an entire week.
Even if a security breach is detected and resolved within a few minutes, some damage can be done. It’s easy to imagine the sort of catastrophic consequences that could result if security is compromised for days or weeks.
McAfee concluded that businesses need the ability to detect threats in real time, as they happen, rather than simply looking for them after the fact. Organizations should also analyze the ways in which they manage and store their data by moving to a system built to manage security data management with APIs.
In other words, a business needs to be proactive about handling data and security threats, and take steps to secure their networks before an attack. Simply cleaning up the mess after the fact won’t undo the significant damage that can occur.