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Blog — Oct 25, 2019

Avoid the DIY Cybersecurity Trap

2 minutes read
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"Do it yourself” is an idea that has a certain romantic quality to it. It conjures up pleasant emotions and images. The wipe of the brow, exhale and the feeling of a job well done after renovating your bathroom or finishing up your kid’s homemade Halloween costume that actually looks pretty good (thank you very much). Plus, it’s usually much cheaper than hiring contractors or buying an overpriced costume.

Perhaps it is the idea cost savings, in combination with the hundreds of different cybersecurity products available on the market, which entices some IT teams in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) space to go down the path of DIY cybersecurity. When utilized correctly, a lot of these products can be extremely valuable and even have handy non-security applications. They impress in demonstrations and proof of concepts (POCs). They can offer a learning opportunity and certifications to IT professionals who want to acquire skills in information security. The appeal is understandable.

In the words of Admiral Ackbar: “It’s a trap!”

These security tools and products were not made with SMBs in mind. Companies with impressive products like Splunk or Palo Alto sell their offerings to the SMB space, but they built their security empires by selling to Fortune 500 organizations with multimillion-dollar security budgets and fully staffed security teams that have the in-house expertise to properly use and maintain these products.

If bigger and better security technologies were the answer, then the frequency and cost of data breaches would not be rising year over year. Breaches in organizations between 500 and 1,000 employees are 17 times more costly than in organizations with over 25,000 employees.1 The most cited security challenge by far is insufficient personnel: 30 percent higher than the lack of enabling security technologies.2

For the sake of argument, let’s assume we’re selling SMB IT teams and the associated functionality of security technology short. Let’s assume they are good at tuning a SIEM and are able to consistently dedicate time to hunt for threats on their EDR platform, on top of their other responsibilities. Maybe they even have a halfway decent Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) that triages alerts for them and monitors their network off-hours. The most recent data indicates that this still isn’t good enough. Not by a longshot.

Ponemon’s annual Cost of a Data Breach study found that the breach lifecycle in 2019 was 279 days and the average cost was $3.92M, with a mean time to contain of 73 days. That last number in particular is woefully inadequate in comparison to the speed at which threat actors operate. In the majority of cases, hackers claim to be able to breach and exfiltrate data in 15 hours or less.3

Minimizing a threat actor’s time in your environment is critical. This is precisely why Managed Detection and Response (MDR) has emerged as a security services category. It’s the only security services solution that is sure to deliver a drastic reduction in the time to contain a threat. In the case of eSentire, it’s 35 seconds to start an investigation and a 20-minute average time to contain a threat. We have some use cases handy here if you are interested in learning more. You can also check out the link below for an infographic that further explains why DIY is DOA.

1 2019 Cost of a Data Breach, Ponemon

2 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium Sized Businesses

3 2018 The Black Report, Nuix

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Mark Macdonald
Mark Macdonald Product Marketing Manager

Mark MacDonald is a Product Marketing Manager at eSentire, Inc, the global leader in Managed Detection and Response (MDR)