Cyberattacks aren’t going to disappear anytime soon – there are hundreds of new cases emerging all the time. Martin Lipka, Head of Connectivity Architecture, Pulsant, offers some tips for organisations and enterprises about how to mitigate the threat as best as possible.
It’s getting harder and harder to avoid the issue of cybersecurity in the news. Whereas it used to be something that was only the concern of IT teams, it’s now of nationwide interest.
This is evident in the number of cybersecurity stories that make headlines. We’re not just talking about the NHS WannaCry attack from last year, either – there are hundreds and thousands of stories that hover under the radar. Very recently, for example, the Singapore health authority was hit by a huge cyberattack, which saw the data of around 1.5 million patients compromised.
With all this in mind, cybersecurity needs to be something that all levels of all businesses – from c-level executives and board members to those in the marketing and sales departments – work together on to tackle the threat.
As the scale of cyberattacks has increased substantially, so has the likelihood of becoming a victim. While targets used to consist of businesses that held valuable data and/or information, today no one is truly safe. Every business, in every sector, is at risk.
However, while this is undoubtedly a scary prospect, there are several steps that businesses can take to mitigate the threat as best as possible.
Know yourself inside-out
It is almost an inevitability that businesses will face a cyberattack at some point, which means cybersecurity is more about mitigating risks rather than eliminating them. In order to make sure your business is well placed to continue operating, both during and after an attack, you need to have the right cybersecurity measures in place according to your specific needs and requirements. These measures can also be backed up and complemented by a trusted security partner, whose skills and expertise can prove invaluable.
This is why a risk-based approach can be so useful. Businesses need to understand themselves inside-out, including their attack surface, the existing defences measures they are already using and any vulnerabilities within their systems. This then allows the business to prioritise all the risks into three categories: technology, people and processes.
Understand the hurdles you face
Effective cybersecurity is never going to be simple. But gaining a strong understanding of the particular challenges that you may face is perhaps the most useful thing you can do to make your journey that bit easier.
These obstacles typically include a lack of cybersecurity expertise within your business and the complexity of understanding all solutions and vendors in the market. Because there is no single solution to address all areas of the business, it’s often necessary to rely on multiple tools. But this only increases the complexity of the overall situation.
Look to the future
Cybercriminals are constantly getting more sophisticated – both in themselves and in the tactics they employ – and this means that businesses need to be alert at all times if they are to avoid an attack. We will also see a shift in the devices that are being targeted. While today most attacks revolve around PCs and laptops, this will slowly change to mobile phones, where users typically hold a huge amount of personal data and information.
Finally, the emergence of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) will undoubtedly change the landscape in new and unpredictable ways and this is something all businesses need to keep in mind when creating cybersecurity strategies.
Enlist a security partner
With the above in mind, working closely with a trusted security partner can be the most efficient and effective way of staying protected. With specialist knowledge and in-house skills, these partners can help to ensure that all measures taken are of value – both to the security efforts themselves and to the employees within the business.
There’s no denying that cybersecurity needs to be a major priority for any business. All organisations are at risk of an attack and the implications of not having sufficient protection in place are extremely serious.
In order to put the correct defences in place, organisations need to do several things. They must work to understand what risks they are susceptible to, before then identifying the tools that can be used to help. Lastly, by working closely with a trusted third-party partner, they can ensure their protection remains effective in the long-term.