Why data security is no longer optional

Security breaches cost more than money. Investing in data security today avoids long-term negative consequences that cost your business time, money and reputation. Acquiring threat intelligence data is a critical step in preventing cyberattacks, and web scraping is the method of choice for many modern data-driven businesses.

Professional and personal activities are increasingly digitized. Whether you’re simply taking your temperature with a connected thermometer or sending products through complex supply chains, companies are constantly collecting data to improve services and refine operational processes.

Companies are always looking for more ways to obtain quality data, whether it comes from their own operations, whether it is collected from the Internet or purchased from a third party. In turn, the surge in demand has sparked the interest of some less-than-benevolent entities.

The risks of cyberattacks are increasing

Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency, severity and sophistication as the demand for data increases. Several factors leading to data breaches include engagement of third-party services, network exploitation risks, extensive cloud migration, increased system complexity, and compliance failures.

Data breaches can devastate a business financially while irrevocably damaging its reputation. According to a IBM report, the average cost of a data breach is $150 per record. With an average size of 25,575 records lost per incident, a cyberattack can potentially cost a business around $3.92 million.

Other direct consequences and associated costs of cyberattacks include:

  • Intellectual property (IP) theft
  • Personnel costs for sanitation and repair of systems
  • Legal fees related to litigation or other legal proceedings
  • Increase in insurance premiums
  • Regulatory and compliance fines

In addition to costing businesses millions in direct expenses (on average), some indirect negative consequences can include:

  • Damage to brand and reputation
  • Public relations costs to remedy and respond to negative media coverage
  • Loss of future contracts
  • Persistent revenue loss due to unavailability of IT infrastructure

Invest in threat intelligence today to improve security and prevent costly data breaches

Threat intelligence is the backbone of a comprehensive security strategy that gives organizations the tools to defend their networks and protect their data.

Threat intelligence includes many types of information, including:

  • Types of potential threats
  • Hacking Abilities
  • Emerging Cyberattack Techniques
  • Potential Network Vulnerabilities

A well-rounded cybersecurity strategy uses threat intelligence to automatically receive cyber threat data, helping organizations prepare action plans based on possible attack scenarios.

Threat Intelligence is part of an effective overall data governance strategy

Data governance is the practice of managing the availability, accessibility, quality and overall security of system data based on internal standards and external regulations governing the use of data. According to a McKinsey ReportGovernance ensuring quality helps organizations take advantage of data-driven opportunities while conserving resources and enhancing security.

Threat management, data handling, and other data-related processes can benefit significantly from effective data governance. By implementing some key governance practicesdata governance can create value, improve productivity, and increase data security across the organization.

The Threat Intelligence Process

At Oxylabs, we use a 5-step threat intelligence process that includes:

1. Planning and Orientation

The first step is to provide a foundation for your threat intelligence strategy by planning and directing the scope of the project.

First, determine which business-critical information and processes need to be protected. Next, describe the potential business impacts in the event of a data breach.

The third part of this step is to clarify all possible information regarding malicious entities that will give your team an advantage when responding to threats.

Once all of these elements are complete, project objectives can be defined to guide the rest of the process.

2. Collection and processing

The second step is to collect data according to the requirements stated in the previous step. Web scraping can be used to collect data from public websites.

3. Analysis

The data collected in the previous step is analyzed by cybersecurity specialists and cross-referenced with the goals and objectives of the project. The information obtained during this step is used to assess current vulnerabilities and strengthen any digital weaknesses.

4. Dissemination

Threat intelligence obtained so far in the process is shared with other organizations through distribution channels. Some cybersecurity companies provide threat intelligence feeds through their own internal threat intelligence distribution platforms, providing real-time alerts.

5. Feedback

Feedback is obtained during this step to assess the success of the strategy. Once this stage is complete, the threat intelligence lifecycle continues through stage one, where the initial plan is re-analyzed and adjustments are made based on feedback.


Data collection, both internal and external, has become a daily activity even for companies that are not directly involved in the industry. Best management practices are still waiting to be implemented as malicious actors try to abuse security issues.

Such issues, however, have the potential to cause greater harm to individuals and businesses than almost any other threat. It is essential to understand that data security is no longer an afterthought in the business.

image credit: artursz/depotphotos.com

Andrius Palionis is Vice President of Enterprise Sales at web scraping solution provider Oxylabs.io

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