High insights and finest practices from the brand new Microsoft Information Safety Index report

A whopping 74 % of organizations lately surveyed skilled a minimum of one information safety incident with their enterprise information uncovered within the earlier yr. That’s simply certainly one of our attention-grabbing insights from Microsoft’s new Information Safety Index: Tendencies, insights, and methods to safe information report, launched right now.  

Information safety is a cornerstone of efficient cybersecurity applications. Notably, of the safety decision-makers we spoke to, the overwhelming majority (89 %) contemplate their information safety posture important to their total success in defending their information. Safeguarding delicate data, spanning from worker and buyer information to mental property, monetary projections, and operational information, in opposition to an array of cyberthreats, information breaches, and insider dangers, is a high precedence for these organizations.

Each chief data safety officer (CISO) I’ve spoken with has shared a frightening information safety expertise and expressed a need to discover the most effective practices and technological improvements that may assist them overcome these challenges. At Microsoft, we’re eager to assist organizations navigate the complexity of knowledge safety and implement efficient complete methods for strengthening their information safety posture.

To facilitate this dialogue and study extra from our clients and friends, we partnered with the unbiased analysis company Speculation Group to conduct a multinational survey involving greater than 800 information safety professionals. Our collaborative effort has resulted within the publication of the Information Safety Index report, designed to supply invaluable insights into present information safety practices and traits. Furthermore, it goals to determine sensible alternatives for organizations to reinforce their information safety efforts.

On this weblog publish, I’ll dive into a number of the key findings from the report, together with:

  • Information safety incidents stay frequent.
  • Vulnerabilities manifest in varied dimensions on account of a various set of things.
  • How a fragmented answer panorama can weaken a company’s information safety posture.
Three security experts looking at a computer.

Information Safety Index

Microsoft commissioned a multinational survey of greater than 800 safety professionals to determine present information safety traits and finest practices.

Information safety incidents stay frequent

Information safety incidents proceed to happen steadily with a mean of 59 incidents occurring previously 12 months, 20 % thought of extreme, leading to potential annual prices of as much as USD15 million.

Whereas decision-makers try to make the most effective use of the instruments they presently make use of, it’s not sufficient to mitigate the continued frequency of knowledge safety incidents.

I can’t go inform my board of administrators “I secured the information, I simply didn’t shield it”… the very last thing we wish to see is our financial institution failing to ship on the entrance web page of the Wall Avenue Journal.

—Chief data safety officer within the monetary providers {industry}

Vulnerabilities manifest in varied dimensions on account of a various set of things

One of many major causes information safety incidents happen extra generally than desired is the increasing variety and complexity of dangers related to information. These embody a wide range of elements such because the causes of the incidents, the necessity to safeguard various kinds of information and the challenges introduced by information processed and saved throughout varied places and workloads.

Amongst all causes of knowledge safety incidents, decision-makers expressed their least preparedness in stopping malware, ransomware assaults, and malicious insider incidents. When contemplating the varieties of delicate information vulnerable to publicity—enterprise information, corresponding to mental property, is at a better threat in comparison with operational and private information. Moreover, as cloud and AI develop into crucial for organizations to drive digital transformation—safety groups have to take care of the complexities of defending information throughout a wide range of places and utility sorts.

Graph showing the top three data security concerns across causes of incidents, types of sensitive data, and data locations and workloads.

A fragmented answer panorama can weaken information safety posture

How can organizations successfully navigate the multifaceted panorama of knowledge safety dangers? Usually, varied use circumstances inside totally different points of knowledge safety efforts could necessitate the adoption of distinct options. Within the bodily realm, including extra locks to a door sometimes enhances safety. Nevertheless, within the context of cybersecurity instruments designed to safeguard information, the state of affairs is kind of the alternative. Organizations using greater than 16 instruments to safe information face a staggering 2.8 occasions extra information safety incidents in comparison with those that use fewer instruments. Furthermore, the severity of those incidents tends to be larger as effectively.

For every instrument a company adopts, it necessitates devoted workers and processes, primarily as a result of every vendor supplies its distinct portal with various technological foundations. Take information classification for instance; when organizations use siloed options, every answer might need its personal classification service, leading to information being labeled a number of occasions primarily based on particular use circumstances.

The proliferation of instruments additionally results in a rise within the variety of alerts, and at occasions, these alerts could also be duplicated, creating extra noise within the system. In line with the report, organizations utilizing a higher variety of instruments obtain greater than double the amount of alerts in comparison with these with fewer instruments. Nevertheless, they’ll solely assessment a smaller share of those alerts.

Now, think about a state of affairs the place an incident happens—every administrator of every instrument should provoke their very own investigations inside their respective areas of experience. Subsequently, they convene to deduplicate alerts, correlate insights, and decide the character of the incident. Sadly, insights could sometimes get misplaced in translation as a result of they originate from disparate methods, finally leading to longer time to conclude an investigation.

Table showing that organizations adopting higher volume of tools have worse data security posture.

Resolution-makers appear to have the right instinct about this, with 80 % agreeing {that a} complete information safety platform with built-in options is superior to a number of and disjointed level options. Regardless of this understanding, sensible implementation stays fragmented, as organizations on common, nonetheless make the most of greater than 10 totally different instruments to handle information safety.

Breaking this inertia to higher shield information requires robust collaboration amongst safety groups, prioritizing the general information safety posture of the group over particular person and departmental safety use circumstances. It additionally requires better-integrated options to carry this collaborative lifestyle.

Fortifying information safety with built-in options

An built-in information safety answer set ought to empower safety groups to do all these important duties seamlessly:

  • Robotically uncover, classify, and shield your delicate information all through its lifecycle by leveraging a unified and clever information classification service. Detecting delicate information, corresponding to mental property and commerce secrets and techniques, will be difficult. Conventional strategies like sample recognition, common expressions, or perform matching could fall quick in figuring out content material with out particular string codecs or key phrases. By harnessing a single AI-powered classification service, you’ll be able to classify your information as soon as, and this classification will be utilized throughout a number of options, facilitating safe and compliant information use.
  • Perceive consumer and information utilization context and determine dangers round your delicate information, corresponding to mental property theft and information leakage. Information doesn’t transfer itself, individuals transfer information and that’s the place the dangers stem from. Organizations want options that may assist parse by each content material and consumer alerts to detect important information safety dangers earlier than they evolve into incidents.
  • Proactively stop information safety incidents with safety and compliance controls constructed into the cloud apps, providers, and gadgets customers use every single day. Options that natively combine along with your trendy work setting can successfully educate, affect, and stop customers from inflicting unintentional or intentional information safety incidents.
  • Tailor safety and compliance controls primarily based on consumer’s threat degree dynamically. The entire aforementioned capabilities ought to seamlessly combine with one another to help organizations in establishing adaptive safety. For instance, safety groups can dynamically apply strict information loss prevention insurance policies on customers assessed as excessive dangers for potential information safety incidents, accelerating incident response and mitigating rising dangers proactively.

Enabling safety groups to do all these important duties seamlessly has been the first focus for Microsoft Purview. These options leverage the identical industry-leading,1 AI-powered information classification expertise, information map, in depth audit logs and alerts, and administration expertise. Consequently, the information safety options seamlessly combine with one another, aiding organizations in defending their information with decrease complexity and higher outcomes.

To present you a real-world instance, we dissected a company espionage incident impressed by a real story to display how taking an built-in strategy may help detect and stop such incidents that will in any other case have gone unnoticed.

Be taught if different professionals’ experiences match yours—and about complete safety from Microsoft

Discover Information Safety Index: Tendencies, insights, and methods to safe information to study finest practices and advisable methods primarily based on information safety professionals’ expertise, and take heed to the podcast episode “Unveil Information Safety Paradoxes” on Uncovering Hidden Dangers, the place I share deeper insights on why an built-in set of options may help improve safety.​ To study extra, you can also:

  • Watch our collection of movies, introducing and demonstrating Microsoft Purview Data Safety, Insider Threat Administration, Information Loss Prevention, and Adaptive Safety.
  • Attempt our E5 Purview trial in case you are a company utilizing Microsoft 365 E3 and wish to see information safety options in Microsoft Purview in motion for your self.
  • Try our Cybersecurity Consciousness Month web site for extra methods to coach and shield your organizations in opposition to cyber threats.

To study extra about Microsoft Safety options, go to our web site. Bookmark the Safety weblog to maintain up with our professional protection on safety issues. Additionally, comply with us on LinkedIn (Microsoft Safety) and X (previously generally known as “Twitter”) (@MSFTSecurity) for the newest information and updates on cybersecurity.

1Microsoft acknowledged as a Chief in The Forrester Wave™: Information Safety Platforms, Q1 2023, Rudra Mitra. March 22, 2023.


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