One of the ironies of life is that the development of a solution to a problem creates its new set of problems. As technology is increasingly becoming better so are problems brewing. One of the biggest problems is cybercrime. From stealing data, to stealing money(e money and Cryptos) and crashing defense systems, we are at a time when there is a great need for cyber security.
Our Digitalized World
The digital transformation is happening at an ever faster pace. Every business today is automated, digitized and online. Of course, this provides advantages in terms of speed and costs, but it also entails a number of vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are efficient information security systems that greatly reduce the risks.
One of the key challenges of digital transformation is protecting data, especially from cybercriminals.
The telecommunications company Verizon has investigated the biggest security threats facing companies. Hackers appear to be the biggest threat: they are responsible for 40% of data breaches and malware for 30%. A well-known example is the cyber attack on container giant Maersk in the port of Los Angeles in 2017. Computers and servers were completely out of service and employees had to improvise using Twitter, WhatsApp and post-its. The Petya ransomware attack cost Maersk $300 million and shut down the company for two weeks. Even multinationals are therefore vulnerable to such attacks.
You need security against new threats from cyber criminals.
Technology never stands still. And unfortunately, that also applies to cybercrime. That means you can never sit back and relax: make sure you use the latest tools and systems to keep your business information safe at all times.
An advanced information security system makes organizations resilient to cyber-attacks. But you can’t just buy a security technology and then stop worrying about it. A risk inventory can reveal the most important vulnerabilities of your organization. Next, you need to determine your budget and examine whether existing staff has enough technical capabilities or whether you need to hire people from outside. And also, set short-term, medium term and long-term goals.
Security risks change quickly and security systems must change with them to deal with new threats. You can use several standards in your risk analysis, including COBIT, the 27000 standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the 800 standards of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Identify your company’s weakest point
An information security system takes into account that most cyber incidents are caused by a lack of alertness on the part of the victims. As a result, they fall into the trap of cyber criminals. A well-known example is the huge security breach at credit rating agency Equifax in 2017. The data of more than 147 million consumers was made public. The company’s CEO said the leak was due to human error. Technology is needed to minimize the risk of human error, although it will never go away completely.
Cybersecurity training is indispensable for explaining to employees that small mistakes can have disastrous consequences. When people make avoidable mistakes, you also pay the price. No one wants to have to fire employees for being a victim of phishing or social engineering.
Another important question when setting up an information security system: how do you organize all the data coming from security tools, such as firewalls, proxy servers, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software? IT workers may be shocked that they will only receive more, not less, alerts as a better security system is installed. Therefore, companies would do well to install an information security management system (SIM). Such a solution records and organizes the data that other software records.
Large organizations started using SIM systems ten years ago, but the market has exploded since then. In fact, such systems are indispensable for the security of many small to medium-sized businesses today. IT security teams no longer have to manually organize all kinds of data: the SIM tools automate this process and standardize the data. They translate alerts from Cisco, Microsoft, and CheckPoint software into a common language. Many SIM solutions have multiple applications to solve different problems.
Research how much risk you are at and whether a system has the right capabilities before deciding which SIM system to buy. Make sure the chosen solution is scalable so that it can capture information from hundreds or even thousands of tools in real time. He must also be able to deal with what Symantec calls ‘blended threats’: a combination of the characteristics of viruses, Trojans and malicious code. Some companies want the SIM system to be able to actively respond, so that it takes immediate action based on the data. To do this, the system must always be set very precisely. After all, you don’t want harmless mistakes leading to disabled servers and blocked traffic. You should also pay attention to the relationships between the various departments during implementation. SIM requires a complex integration. If each department has to determine its own access rights, this can lead to delays.
Once the system has been designed and installed, you are not there yet. You then need to establish KPIs to measure the effectiveness of the system, and evaluate major data breaches. Cyber criminals are constantly finding new technologies and vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s important to continuously deploy new tools, skills and procedures to stay one step ahead. Fortunately, technology companies develop just as fast as criminals. So all tools are available to optimally protect your system.
The digital transformation brings new threats and opportunities. Make sure you handle this responsibly and safely.