Breach Detection

Breach detection identifies active threats operating inside a network. When a breach is identified, a breach detection software and/or hardware system alerts IT security teams that their network security has been compromised. In addition, these systems provide useful information for analyzing and responding to the impact of data security breaches.

Breach Detection Challenges

Many companies struggle to implement security measures that combat data breaches and ensure data integrity and confidentiality.

According to the Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report, today’s data breaches are “complex affairs often involving some combination of human factors, hardware devices, exploited configurations or malicious software.” For example, a breach can involve one or more paths to your data, including:

  • Excessive, inappropriate, and unused user privileges
  • Privileged user abuse
  • Database misconfigurations and/or missing patches
  • Malware-infected devices and unsecured storage media
  • Insufficient web application security
  • Query injections — SQL injections that target traditional databases and NoSQL injections that target big data platforms
  • Social engineering — baiting, phishing, pharming, pretexting, tailgating, and others.

Data breaches are further aided by weak audit trails that make it difficult to determine the “who, what, where, and when” of a data breach. This allows aggressors to repeatedly exploit security gaps, attacking the weakest prey via the path of least resistance.

Other challenges exist with breach detection concerning dwell time, or number of days between the initial attack and final detection. Typically, IT professionals work with native database auditing or limited breach detection systems that are unable to provide real-time alerts. This often means a delay of weeks, sometimes months, before a modification to the network is detected and reported.

When dealing with a data breach, quick detection is crucial to throttling the outflow of sensitive data. Companies that can respond more quickly to a data breach can better control the damage and significantly lessen the business impact of the exploit.

Breach Detection Systems

Breach detection systems (BDS) are security products that offer timely detection of threats. When evaluating these products, customers must take into account traditional factors, such as security effectiveness, deployment options, performance, and administrative capabilities. In addition, they need to consider other metrics, such as the time to detect threats and system visibility.


The need for quick, panoramic visibility into the entire delivered application infrastructure, no matter where it is located, is paramount. Quick and coordinated control and mitigation are essential to bring the balance of defense back into the defender’s court.

Learn how Imperva solutions can help you ensure rapid breach detection.

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