New year, new cyberattacks.
In this modern digital world, data equates to cash. And that’s the reason why high-profile data breaches make it to headlines almost every year.
With the continuous advancements in technology, cyberattacks and data breaches have grown exponentially and become more sophisticated. Today, it encompasses cyber espionage, ransomware, infiltration of industrial networks to sabotage manufacturing, and a wide array of other attacks. On top of that, the global cost of data breaches has soared upwards.
According to Statista, the average cost of data breaches worldwide has reached an astounding figure of $4.24 million. Recuperating from this financial loss isn’t the only part of the equation. Instead, prolonged downtime can exacerbate hourly costs. What’s even more complex to gauge is the time to gain the customer’s trust back and repair the organization’s reputation.
What are cyber threats?
In simpler terms, cyber threats refer to the attempts of an unauthorized user to circumvent the security measures or infiltrate the network to gain access to the secured areas of the system. As scary as these cyber threats sound, they are comparatively easier to detect and respond to than accidental attacks that occur because of negligence.
Here’s a handy guide for you to navigate the potential cyberattacks and security breaches. The more prepared your organization, the more it will be easier to detect threats and, in some cases, remediate them:
Most organizations today capitalize on cutting-edge technologies to streamline business functions. And while the latest software and applications provide enormous benefits to the business. However, they still represent a certain level of risk.
Solely relying on these modern technologies isn’t enough; employees should also be aware of the various protocols, resources, and cyber influence on personal behavior. Therefore, organizations should encourage their employees to consider a Master’s in cyberpsychology to understand the nitty-gritty of the relationship between human behavior and modern technologies.
The advanced degree enables individuals to study a broad spectrum of psychological theories and connect them with cyber behavior. Besides, it also helps them draw psychological insights into human behavior with the internet and learn the concepts behind cyberaggression, cybercrime and cyberbullying.
Prevent insider threats
It’s common to envisage cyber threats originating from outside your organization. However, as unfortunate as it sounds, your organization is also susceptible to internal security threats.
Insider threats can be employees who unknowingly click on an email believing it came from a trusted source only to find a ransomware worm. Or it can be disgruntled employees, also known as malicious insider, who threatens to steal confidential information for personal reasons.
To preclude insider threats, organizations should knuckle down to three strategic areas: deterrence, detection, and post-breach forensics. First, deterrence refers to solid access controls and enforcing policies and rules that dissuade insider threats. The second area, detection, refers to actively overseeing the user operations and all network-related activities. And the last one refers to assessing the environment after the breach has occurred.
Take advantage of data discovery and classification solutions
For any organization, data is one of its vital resources. And naturally, none of the businesses want to put themselves at risk by losing sensitive information.
However, if you aren’t aware of the type of data and where it lives in the system, effectively securing the walls around it might be challenging. As a result, this may increase the data’s vulnerability. Given this, it’s crucial to cash in on data discovery and classification tools.
Data discovery primarily refers to the process of figuring out where the data, both structured and unstructured, resides in the system and siloes. Once you are apprised of data repositories, it will be easier to secure confidential data and prevent storing it in unsafe areas.
Next, data classification is a complex method; it’s mainly about treating data and which policies to implement around it. There are three types of data classification methods – context, content, and user-based classification. However, all classification methods must adhere to industry-specific regulations and mandates.
Keep the systems updated
The pop-ups every one of us receives while working (indicating the need for security updates) aren’t just to irk us. Instead, it’s highly indispensable to upgrade the security system.
While most business owners feel pestered with such updates, new problems and complexities may arise time and again in the software. And failure to keep up with the security updates will give cybercriminals and hackers the advantage to benefit from the vulnerabilities in the operating systems.
Therefore, to patch vulnerabilities, invest in security updates, and keep your software and system resilient and up-to-date. Embed anti-spy software and firewalls to foil security breach attempts and collaborate closely with the internet service providers for a successful installation.
Remember, organizations might have to break the bank to update the system and software to its latest version. However, the cost invested will most certainly pay off over the long haul. After all, prevention is always better than tackling the aftermath of cyberattacks.
Conduct regular audits
Frequent audits empower organizations to save money and uphold a positive image of their business in the long run. It not only helps identify potential security gaps that could spell severe repercussions if left unaddressed. Instead, it goes beyond the careful assessment of security regulations, penetration testing, and vulnerability assessment.
And while it’s imperative to perform frequent and proactive audits. However, ensure to conduct these audits via a third party. That way, you can identify the weaknesses in security policies and compliance and strengthen the ironclad defense of your organization.
Moreover, organizations can catch a glimpse of who can access the data, modify it, or alter its path after business hours with continuous auditing. That way, it becomes possible to detect suspicious activities early on, respond to them, and take necessary actions to prevent unintended loss.
Cybersecurity is one of the overriding considerations for any business in this fast-paced digital realm. The staggering amount of information available merely a click away necessitates organizations to always be on their guard. Unfortunately, those without adequate security measures are at a higher risk of cyber threats and hefty fines.
But while it seems like a tiresome process to prevent, if not eliminate, security breaches. However, a multipronged security approach that encompasses various strategies and procedures can help you reduce cyber risks. That way, your organization will be in much better shape than remaining negligent to an ever-evolving cyberattack landscape.
Remember, cybersecurity isn’t just a one-off project. Nor there exists any magic formula that promises complete security all day and night. Instead, it’s an ongoing, organization-wide endeavor. Nevertheless, by implementing the proper practices – data classification and purging, endpoint protection, and data encryption, you can strengthen data security and mitigate the risks of cyber threats.