Cybersecurity is perhaps the most important issue in today’s business world. But you don’t need to be told that: all you have to do is look at the latest news headlines to be reminded of the severity of the cyber threat landscape. Who could forget the infamous WannaCry attack from last year, which impacted businesses the world over? Or how about the much more recent Dixons Carphone breach, which involved the seizure of 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records?
Incidents like this are recurring more frequently than ever before. This has led to cybersecurity to go from something that was once left to the IT department, to an issue that the entire organisation is responsible for. All efforts also need to be championed from the very top, specifically the C-level and the board.
The rise in cyber attacks cannot be denied, but the question remains: why are we witnessing such an increase? While historically these attacks were targeted primarily at companies within the insurance and financial services industries, today no organisation is exempt from the threat.
This is mainly because setting up, carrying out and/or commissioning an attack has never been easier or more accessible. It’s key to remember that the majority of cyber attackers are purely opportunistic: they scan the internet, searching for vulnerabilities in order to breach corporate networks. Therefore, the more secure you are, the harder it is to suffer from a breach and the more likely attackers will move on to easier targets.
Know what you’re up against
Despite best efforts, no cyber defence is 100% bulletproof. Every organisation is fallible, which means it becomes more about mitigating the risk of an attack and ensuring your organisation is well placed to continue operating during and after an attack. This all comes down to having the right, layered cybersecurity measures in place, shaped by your understanding of the threat landscape and complemented by the skills and expertise of a security partner.
The best way to tackle the risks associated with cybercrime is through a risk-based approach. By knowing your business inside-out, understanding your attack surface, the defences in place and the vulnerabilities in your systems, it’s much easier to prioritise the risks around key three areas: Technology, people and processes.
Clearing the hurdles
Cybersecurity is no easy task. Devising and putting a strategy in place takes time, and there are various challenges to overcome on the way.
The two most common are a lack of cybersecurity expertise within your business and the sheer complexity of understanding the solutions and vendors in the market. Wading through multiple options, dealing with multiple vendors and ensuring you’re delivering a holistic defence programme is difficult. It’s often necessary to work with multiple tools as there is no single solution that can address all areas of your business, but managing, integrating and coordinating those tools only adds to the overall complexity.
Anticipating the future
The cyber threat will never stop evolving in some way or another. Over time, cybercriminals will get increasingly bolder and their tactics ever more sophisticated. The devices being targeted will also change, and moving forward we will see the majority of threats be focused around mobile phones (attacks on smartphones will give hackers access to personal and work information), as well as AI, machine learning and IoT. AI and machine learning, in particular, is set to shift the landscape in unpredictable ways, which will consequently change how businesses and cybersecurity experts view the industry.
Working with a cybersecurity partner
Despite the likelihood of your business being targeted at some point, it is possible for this risk to be effectively mitigated, and part of this lies in working alongside cyber security experts. A trusted partner can provide the industry knowledge, in-house skills and investment required to ensure all actions undertaken are successful, while also boosting the skills and knowledge of those within the company at the same time.
If businesses want to be able to deal with the inevitable risk that cyber attackers pose, it’s imperative they have comprehensive cybersecurity measures in place. This also needs to be a board-level issue; something that is deemed critical to the likelihood of wider business success.
However, all organisations need to be prepared for obstacles along the way. Not only must efforts be made to understand the cyber threat landscape, but it’s also important to source the right combination of tools to meet your organisation’s specific needs. To achieve this quickly and effectively, it can help to work with an experienced and skill cybersecurity provider, who can help you navigate this tricky route and ensure you’re doing all you can to stay protected.