Reality Check: Stopping All Data Breaches is Impossible

A harsh truth becomes evident if you spend any time exploring the current state of cybersecurity. The truth that emerges is not the type of news that most business owners or executives want to hear. But it is an honest reality check that can help adapt modern security practices to keep pace with an ever-evolving threat landscape.

Stopping all data breaches is impossible.

That’s right. There is no certain method for preventing cyberattacks. No single practice or service that will help your business avoid a data breach or other incident. No blanket plug-and-play approach to create impenetrable defenses.

Complete prevention is a myth. It doesn’t happen, and it really can’t. If someone tells you that they have the solution to stop every threat that your business might face, they don’t. They are entirely misinformed or running a cyber snake oil sales scheme.

If you are hearing this for the first time, there’s a good chance that you feel surprised or shocked. And while this reality should certainly grab your attention, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should ring the alarms. Instead, take it as informative advice which is meant to better equip your business for the issues of the day. Take it as a wake-up call to upgrade cybersecurity efforts to stay in step with the times. 

The Benefit of Impossible

Impossible is a strong word. It implies absolute and complete certainty. Taken in specific context, the claim of something being impossible can come off as an exaggeration. It might sound impossible in and of itself. But when implied toward security efforts, the word offers possibilities that can lead to dynamic change.

The following two similar but contrasting statements serve to highlight this:

“We’ve just spent so much time and effort on cybersecurity, and the chance of a data breach is impossible.”

“We realize that stopping all data breach incidents is impossible and understand our cybersecurity efforts need to be built around this realization.”

Can you guess which of these hypothetical business owners will best position their organization to handle a data breach or other cybersecurity incident?

By accepting the reality that complete prevention is impossible, organizations can shift their focus to tangible efforts that will produce enhanced results. This isn’t a gloom and doom realization but more of an accepting the truth situation. Sure, we would all like to stop cybercriminals in their tracks and ensuring that they can never show their degenerate digital faces again. But that’s impossible to achieve, and it is an impractical goal that isn’t worth pursuing.

The benefit of comprehending this appears when the focus shifts to, “Ok, we can’t stop every data breach, so how do we limit risks and better prepare to navigate an incident when it occurs?”

That simple mindset change will allow your organization to remain in the driver’s seat when a security issue occurs and will help to minimize damages in the best ways possible.

Preparation vs. Prevention

As the realization of reality sets in, the natural evolution of security efforts should shift from prevention to preparation. Acknowledging that preventing all attacks is not feasible allows you to create a better strategy built around a foundation of preparation. And making this shift will enable an organization to be ready for action amid a data breach rather than having the organization slip quickly into dire crisis mode.

Defensive tactics and strategies naturally shift when you stop attempting to keep attackers away and instead address how you will react when they arrive. This doesn’t mean that you should invite hackers to your doorstep, but rather its recognizes that there is a strong likelihood that your business will experience a data breach or other security issue sooner than later. 

By anticipating rather than avoiding acknowledging this scenario, a business stands to build defenses that can withstand and adapt around a cybersecurity incident when it occurs rather than having to crumble and panic. If you can anticipate a breach and can think critically about purposeful action steps before an event occurs, you’ll be poised for organized and effective action. If you place all effort and energy into trying to stop an attack before it happens, you’ll be reactive and dazed when the perpetrators breach the castle walls.

When the focus shifts to preparation over prevention, an organization can become equipped with the tools and skills to navigate through the issue with reduced adverse outcomes. If the strategy remains built around stopping the inevitable, the inevitable will eventually arrive and leave an unprepared business frightfully overwhelmed.

What Preparation Looks Like

The change from prevention to preparation can take some time and effort if this line of thinking is new to your organization. But it doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul of your cyber defense strategy, assuming there is already one in place. Proper preparation can look different for every organization, depending on the scope of business, the number of employees, and other critical factors.

Data breach planning and response services are a good starting point. These services will help you lay the anticipatory groundwork for dealing with a data breach. They will allow you to get policies and procedures in place that dictate the proper course of action to be followed during or in response to an incident. From notification guidelines to legal requirements, a response plan is a critical tool for taking effective steps to limit lasting damages.

Data breaches and other cybersecurity issues cannot be stopped with absolute certainty. Understanding this reality is fundamental to creating and adopting effective strategies that will limit the overall cost and disruption to an organization that an attack can have. By focusing on preparation over prevention, your business will remain in a much better position to navigate an incident as best as possible. The ever-changing threat landscape requires progressive planning and tactics from all businesses attempting to stay well-prepared and ready for action when the inevitable occurs.

LibertyID is the leader in identity theft restoration, having restored the identities of tens of thousands of individuals without fail. If you retain personal information on your customers, now is the time to get data breach planning and a response program in place with our LibertyID Business Solutions data breach preparation program. With LibertyID Enterprise you can now add value to existing products, services, or relationships by covering your customers, employees, or members with LibertyID’s fully managed identity theft restoration service – at a fraction of our retail price – with no enrollment and no file sharing. We have no direct communication with your group members – until they need us.

Call us now for a no obligation proposal at 844-44-LIBERTY (844) 445-4237