Cyber-crime is becoming an increasing challenge with the frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks growing. Even worse data breaches are often detected by outsiders, affecting customers or brand image before the organization even knows that they have been attacked. These cyber-attacks on organizations now routinely involve multiple stages designed to overcome the strength of modern organizational network defenses. We recommend a layered approach to cybersecurity..

A recent study by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute, examined both direct and indirect costs to companies that had examples of dealing with a single data breach incident. Based on in-depth interviews with nearly 400 companies across the globe, the study includes things like:

  • Costs associated with breach response activities
  • Reputational damage
  • Cost of lost business

This Cost of a Data Breach study determined that the average cost of a data breach has grown to $4 million – a substantial increase compared to last year’s $3.79 million. This is an increase of almost 30 percent since 2013.

“Data breaches are now a consistent ‘cost of doing business’ in the cybercrime era,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, a research firm focused on security. “The evidence shows that this is a permanent cost organizations need to be prepared to deal with and incorporate in their data protection strategies.”

The evolution of identity technologies has made it difficult for lines of business to understand what the IT departments are doing to control access. Complexity is further increased through the need for outsiders, such as partners and suppliers, to have access to internal systems as well as the needs for insiders to have access to systems for externally provided services like travel.

How do you protect your business and minimize the cost of data breaches? It is clear that there is no “silver bullet” approach to securing your business. Instead, we recommend that you work with a service provider who will design and implement a combination of solutions that address the following key areas:

Email Security

It’s obvious that the majority of breaches these days begin with an email. You need a tool that a detect and prohibit dangers without hindering essential business communications.

DNS Security

Because every email includes a link, and every click on a link reaches out to a DNS server for resolution before the user can actually open the link, having a tool that can learn from all those click can provide a shield.

Network Security

Network security software can constantly monitor firewalls, switches and routers to ensure that threats are detected early with as few false positives as possible.

Endpoint and Application Security

Endpoint and application protection tools range from antimalware and patch management software to multifactor-authentications VPNs.

User Behavior Analytics

Analytics tools can study the behaviors of your users and identify red flags that fall outside of normal user tasks.

Phishing Training and Testing

Raising awareness and increasing the education level of the user (your weakest link in security) is essential. You can also run “secret shopper” tests to ensure they are implementing the rules they have been taught.

To protect your business efficiently and minimize the data breach “cost of ding business,” it is important to work with a provider that can implement integrated solutions that offer the complete, top-to-bottom protection you require, along with dashboards that give you the visibility and control you desire.

Schedule a consultation with Flagship to learn more about how to protect your business from cyber-crime.

If you liked this blog, you also might like:  Strategies for Securing Your Business – Part I & II

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IBM Security: QRadar Intelligence and Ops

IBM's integrated solutions harness security-relevant information from across your organization, and use analytics and automation to provide context and help you detect threats faster, identify vulnerabilities, prioritize risks, perform forensics analysis and automate compliance activities. 

  • IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Solutions Grow As Your Needs Grow

  • Organizations today need integrated security intelligence solutions that can grow as their business grows, both in terms of size and capabilities. The IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform meets these requirements by providing an integrated security solution that is highly scalable, and can expand it’s capabilities to meet increasingly hostile security challenges. This short video describes how IBM Security QRadar delivers scalability, visibility, vulnerability management, risk management, and performs forensics analysis to help you quickly and efficiently detect and respond to security threats. To learn more, please visit

  • Video: Don’t Drown in a Sea of Cyberthreats: Mitigate Attacks with IBM BigFix & QRadar

  • Security teams can be overwhelmed by a sea of vulnerabilities–without the contextual data to help them focus their efforts on the weaknesses that are most likely to be exploited. Cyberthreats need to be stopped before they cause significant financial and reputation damage to an organization. You need an endpoint security platform that can detect threats, prioritize risks and respond within minutes to shut down an attack or vulnerability that could compromise your endpoints.IBM BigFix seamlessly integrates with IBM QRadar to provide closed loop vulnerability management, accelerating risk prioritization and incident response to mitigate potential attacks giving you an integrated threat protection system to keep your endpoints and data secure.For more information, please visit

  • Report: IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Report 2016

  • In the modern era of mega breaches, there seems to be an ever-upward trend of more attacks, more leaked records and more varied threats. Yet, by the numbers, 2015 was not a complete disaster. While significant interruptions, shifts in perspective and challenges to the security industry continue to evolve, there are some areas of slowed growth and even improvement. This paper takes a look at some of the notable highlights from 2015 and makes some projections at what we might glean for the future.

  • KocSistem Replaces Their SIEM & Deploys QRadar For Log Management & Regulatory Compliance

  • Many organizations are challenged with meeting regulatory compliance mandates. Watch this video and learn how Ko?Sistem, one of the largest IT services companies in Turkey, is complying with regulations using IBM Security QRadar. You will hear about how they removed a SIEM from another company and installed QRadar, and lowered costs, improved performance, and benefited from greater ease of use.For more information on QRadar, please visit:

  • The Next Era for Security – IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform

  • “IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform provides real-time transparency to see better into your organization than ever before,” says Steve Robinson, Vice President, IBM Security Division. Implementing the security information and event management (SIEM) dashboard, the IBM QRadar platform brings security operations teams full visibility through a single window. It also automates the tedious task of vulnerability management. Security teams can spend less time on manual tasks and more time on network security assessments. This means, according to Robinson, “QRadar will probably pay for itself right out of the gate.”For more information on Security Intelligence go to: more information on IBM Security:

  • IBM Security Intelligence for the Cloud with QRadar

  • IBM QRadar Security Intelligence helps you monitor the cloud for security breaches and compliance violations using advanced security analytics. Using a flexible deployment architecture and connectors to popular cloud services, IBM QRadar Security Intelligence provides deep visibility of threats across both on-premise IT and hybrid cloud deployments.To learn more, please visit

  • How to Investigate Security Incidents Quickly and Easily

  • What’s behind a cyber attack? Gaining insight and clarity into the what, when and how of an enterprise security incident: IBM Security QRadar Incident Forensics helps you win the race against time when a security breach occurs by allowing you to rapidly and easily perform in-depth security incident investigations. It provides visibility and clarity to potentially malicious activity by thoroughly analyzing packets captured from your network, and in most cases can help resolve security incidents in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. It is integrated with IBM Security QRadar solutions, allowing the same person who has visibility to logs and network flows to conduct searches and learn more about an incident. With QRadar Incident Forensics, security staffs can analyze many types of data, understand their relationships, re-trace the steps of an attacker, remediate damage, and reduce the chances of a recurrence. Learn more about QRadar Incident Forensics:

  • Local Government Secures Their Data With QRadar

  • Securing people and funds is a challenge for the public sector. With these limited resources, IT departments must choose a security tool set that will be easy to implement as well as easy to manage. In this video, a local government explains why they chose IBM Security’s QRadar and how it has been a true asset to their work process.To learn more about QRadar, please visit