Cybersecurity: The importance of implementing it in your company
It is not any news that we dedicate an entire space to talk about cybersecurity. We won't get tired of saying it: cyber attacks were always a serious threat to companies. But today, with remote work as the new standard, that risk has really been multiplied a lot. For this reason, we will continue on insisting on the seriousness of the matter, with the aim of raising awareness among organizations –and the people who work in organizations– about the need to take accurate measures regarding cybersecurity.
The most recent report from CompTIA (an NGO dedicated to certifying professional skills for technology industries) states that the cybersecurity problems that organizations must consider are really complex and numerous. What companies mostly single out as most worrisome is the volume and variety of attacks, cited by 49% and 43% of respondents, respectively. Privacy concerns (40%), increased reliance on data (38%), and quantification of security issues (34%) are other factors that companies today take into account when developing cybersecurity policies, implement new practices and make investments.
Known and recommended practices
The most common cybersecurity practice is incident monitoring, which is self-explanatory. But the truth is that this practice also includes the analysis of the attack patterns of network traffic, which is where things get interesting. Simple incident monitoring is largely a static activity, where monitoring tools are configured around known types of attacks and are programmed to send notifications when those attacks are detected. On the other hand, the analysis of attack patterns is a more advanced and proactive initiative. It requires both an understanding of typical network behavior and an understanding of attack methodology so that any anomalies can be investigated as a possible infection.
Workforce assessment and training has become more popular in recent years. The driver of this practice is the ubiquity of digital tools throughout the workforce. Until a few years ago, tools like laptops and smartphones were only used by a few employees. Digital transformation has opened the door for most workers to have access to corporate systems or work-specific applications. Additionally, the average employee uses technology in their personal life on a daily basis, and consumer-level behavior is often less security-conscious than enterprise-level behavior. Assessments determine the areas that have the greatest impact on corporate security, and targeted training packages with accompanying metrics help improve the situation.
The need for constant training reminds us that the weakest link in cybersecurity is still the human being. While not all employees require the same level of cybersecurity knowledge and training, companies are well aware that skills need to be kept current and relevant. Approximately 40% of companies, according to the CompTIA report, feel they need a significant improvement in skill levels.
So: how to move forward? How can organizations reduce human error as much as possible and consolidate an efficient cybersecurity policy?
4 concrete strategies for today's world
Always expect a breach: Companies need to test their existing capabilities and have a plan of action for when the worst happens. They must constantly monitor whether existing mechanisms give enough warning and are able to hold off threats long enough for the business to act. How early in the attack is the security team alerted? Do defenses slow down the attacker, giving the team a chance to counterattack? The segregation of the networks will make it difficult for the attacker to move laterally to the rhythm.
Monitor and target: It is vital that the cybersecurity team continually monitor abnormal behavior to detect emerging attack breadcrumbs. There is always a period when the attacker has an initial foothold and is calculating what move to make next; this period can be used for the benefit of a company.
Create a culture of security: Business leaders need to speak about the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization, and all departments need to know that it is a topic that is definitely relevant to them. Ideally, the Head of the information security area should be part of the senior management team. If not, key personnel on the security team should provide regular feedback to the management team on how the business is responding to cyber threats.
Examine the supply chain: Attackers are turning to vendors or third-party providers in systems and cybersecurity to find vulnerabilities and thus get into the heart of critical systems. Vendor vulnerabilities are everyone's vulnerabilities. How strong is the provider's security? Do they have third-party certifications verifying that they take security seriously? It is important that the organization is empowered in this sense to critically evaluate the suppliers. Implementing specific and accurate strategies in terms of computer security is essential. The risks are real and serious; And many companies that historically did not work remotely – or even did not work entirely digitally – do not fully understand the seriousness of the issue. In a world where everything works more and more on the network, understanding the importance of cybersecurity and taking action on the matter becomes not only a need for the organization itself, but also a responsibility on a larger scale.