Global statistics in the most recent Ponemon report on the cost of a data breach show dwell time for malicious attacks has stretched to an average of 229 days. As most IT pros know, dwell time is the period between when a malicious attack enters your network and when it is discovered. Why is dwell time critical? The answer is simple: The longer the dwell time, the greater the potential for extensive damage. Yet, while the concept is easily understood, the fact that average dwell times continue to be weeks and months, rather than minutes or even hours, is less easily explained.