There were more than 14.5 Billion malware-laced emails sent in 2017, and if that isn’t scary enough there was a 1,000-percent increase in phishing efforts, according to AppRiver’s annual Global Security Report. Just one attack affecting 143 Million people. The report also notes that 1.9 Billion data records were lost or stolen as a result of cyber attacks in the first half of 2017 alone.
Cyber attacks are not only a major concern for business leaders around the world but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a shift in mindset towards cybersecurity is now taking place amongst all business leaders no matter what business size. However, in saying that, business leaders who recognise its importance may not know how to guide their organisation’s cybersecurity strategy across the board.
Tech Patrol has compiled 5 key guiding principles to help senior leaders assess, improve and manage their organisation’s approach to cybersecurity.
Key 1: Employees are the biggest risks.
As data becomes more and more valuable it’s noted that employees are now selling data and intelligence to make money on the side, whether, for a data agency or a competitors, this new development is extremely worrying for businesses including the jeopardisation of data once they look to leave the company, usually staying in the same industry and moving to a competitor. Controlling access to company data can significantly improve the chances of catching this behaviour before it causes devastating damage. Investing in cybersecurity professionals reward organisations and is essential for staying abreast of this highly dangerous threat. Please also note that we are not trying to pin you against your employees or saying that YOUR employees are doing this, we are simply bringing to light that this is a growing trend and your business should be secure no matter how nice and perfect your employees are.
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Key 2: The Corporate Structure Should Reinforce A Culture Of Cybersecurity.
An organisation will never communicate a true commitment to cybersecurity if it isn’t built into the culture of the business. If a business can’t afford to hire a dedicated IT manager to monitor/secure it’s devices and processes then they should look for MSP’s such as Tech Patrol that offers no-lockin contracts and low device management prices that are affordable and will give you a perfect step into, not only securing devices but elevate productivity through the options of consultation and other solutions, offers and discounts.
Business owners and leaders should map out the accountability for cybersecurity, starting with the leaders and extend down to the specific individual tasked with protecting the business from cyber threats, whether that is internal and even better if it’s external. Staffing and compensation should reflect it’s importance.
Key 3: Data Protect.
An organisation doesn’t need to be completely closed to protect its self, you actually need to have flexible and adaptable approaches to protect data. They should collect only business-critical data and should have clear plans and a realistic estimate of the resources required to collect, store, protect, and analyse the data. When it comes to the interaction of 3rd party companies, whether that be a distribution vendor or others that interact with systems, businesses should understand what data they can access and how they gain access to it – don’t make the same mistake as facebook with their 3rd party apps. Before signing a new contract with a supplier, businesses should conduct an external audit to ensure that the supplier meets the organisation’s standards and follows the security measures promised. If you’re a small organisation that can’t afford to do so, make sure you get your managed service provider to draw up a partnership data policy that you can implement within the contract.
Key 4: Develop a Contingency Plan (continuously test them)
All businesses no matter the size should create an internal crisis playbook, prioritising the most likely scenario for your individual business, assessing what would your businesses do in the event of that breach. This plan should include key departments or personnel across the organisation, whether that be legal communications, marketing, and human resources, depending on the kind of threat that occurs.
Owners and leaders must view this as part of the broader risk management process, rather than jettisoning it off as a technology problem with a technology solution. IT Security is important but it’s not as complex as you may think. The most successful cybersecurity approaches are actually not necessarily the most expensive, but they do require attention, prioritisation and persistence.
Key 5: Detect, detect, detect
The reason I put this last is that I truly believe that this is the biggest key. In today’s cyber age it’s not about how effectively you can recover it’s about how effective you can detect and prevent. The longer it takes to detect a data breach, the more expensive the data breach becomes. Although senior leadership cannot be involved in actively detecting each security problem, executives can help make sure that detection is prioritised and can create incentives to encourage cybersecurity reviews. Businesses should formally review reports generated from third-party auditing. In addition to this auditing, there should be feedback loop so those insights from these studies are immediately incorporated into existing processes, policies, and manuals for the businesses execute upon.