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Time-to-detect is the period of time between when your data is compromised and when the threat is detected.

Even with this brief definition it’s clear as to why the success of your data security relies on this window of opportunity to be as narrow as it possibly can.

Cyber threats are becoming more and more advanced in their attack, however this doesn’t mean they make a bang.

Stealth is the new focus, using techniques that enable their malware to go undetected for considerable lengths of time – days, months, even years.

Even when businesses get the upper hand and detect a threat before it’s had chance to manifest, the creators of these data breaches are coming back with avengence.

Simply put, they are a continuously innovating and developing their already complex attacks, making time-to-detect a new focus for IT and security experts.

The damage is far from done

When a data breach occurs, the time it takes for the malware to break through your first line of defence ranges from minutes to hours. But this is just the beginning, as once inside your network the hackers start to carefully extend their reach, treading lightly to avoid being detected. Once they’ve navigated your systems, they conduct their data exfiltration. This goes on for months, even years. What’s worrying is that 66% of data breaches go completely undetected. This is why time-to-detect steps should be an integral part of your data protection plan.

Your last line of defence

The intrusion has happened, and unfortunately there’s nothing you can do, but time-to-detect the breach is your last line of defence. As we learn to accept that hackers will inevitably enter our systems, despite our best first line of defence efforts, preventing the initial attack is no longer a solution on its own. If we turn our attention to across the pond, US retail giant Target failed to detect the breach themselves, despite countless alerts. This resulted in over 40 million credit cards being stolen.

Discovering an attack internally is the problem organisations are facing. According to Verizon, only about 13% of data breaches are successfully detected internally.

This opens up the debate in regards to how secure onsite networks and systems are; if 87% of breaches are detected externally, it shows that there’s a benefit of using third party hosting systems and remote servers to improve network security.

Time-to-detect is your last chance saloon effectively. If you can narrow the window of opportunity for malware to crawl your network and identify data it wants to extract, the better chance you have at damage limitation. Cyber threats are imminent, and the scale is growing at a rapid rate.

Make sure you safeguard your business against the main data breaches the UK is currently facing.

Download our ‘How to protect your business data’ guide HERE for a detailed look into the present state of the data security landscape and the steps necessary to defend against an attack.

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