Perspective. Without it you are navigating a submarine without any charts, periscope or sonar. Organizations cannot chart a course to success without clear perspective on the threats they face. Cyber risk has become the biggest threat to every organization.
The most effective way to mitigate Cyber Risk is by providing your team with enough perspective to combat these threats. To gain that perspective organizations must look externally to seasoned professionals from diverse industries to provide a concrete understanding and direction to effectively thwart cyber threats.
The world-wide adaptability of the Internet provided us with access to a massive amount of information. While we are seeing tremendous gains in productivity and innovation we are also exposing ourselves to new types of threats. Whether you’re an employee, attempting to access data for information or a cyberhacker, trying to steal data or obtain a competitive advantage we are all after the two main components that the Internet brought to existence – access and data. Basic cybersecurity can only be achieved if you have complete control over these two fundamental components (access and data)– which is almost impossible to achieve. Creating a plan on how to instantly restrict or grant access to sensitive data is a vital must-have for all organizations.
Understanding the various cybersecurity frameworks and implementing the appropriate measures will determine whether an organization will survive a cyber-attack. Because the threat landscape is constantly evolving, implementing a cyber framework and achieving compliance does not mean a business is secure. Organizations must be vigilant and arm themselves with the tools and professionals capable of identifying a threat before it has an impact.
Complicating the matter, threats come in all shapes and sizes, insiders, competitors, nation-states, for profit cyber-attackers and dare we say it litigants. Business leaders must provide their teams with visibility.
What does visibility mean? It means direct line-of-sight on user, data and network activity. Visibility allows cybersecurity professionals to predict and stop threats before they can evolve into a breach.
Visibility also means that organizations must have a constant pulse on the threats around them. Complacency, while self-inflicted, is another major threat and occurs when a team does not look outwards or forward. This is very common for in-house teams that do not have the perspective from other industries and business sizes. Having the proper visibility and data collection allows organizations to evolve as threats and their businesses evolve.
Internal communications are also critical for IT teams to prepare for upcoming technology demands and security gap analysis.
Although painful, performing a proper post-mortem analysis after a breach is critical and even more critical is the communication of the gaps with the entire organization. We have entered an arms race with the hackers. Going forward, we will see hackers utilize less sophisticated techniques such as phishing campaigns which attack the weakest link in any organization, the user. These unsophisticated attacks pose a serious problem to IT teams because as every business becomes more mobile, data becomes more prolific and harder to control.
Finding the right balance between security and convenience is one of the largest challenges facing companies today. That balance can only be achieved by visibility on the users’ needs and providing the tools for them to perform effectively. IT teams cannot expect users to work in locked rooms with no windows or doors and business managers cannot demand to work without the proper controls in place.
While training and certifications seem tedious, they are a critical step in generating awareness and help prevent users from harming themselves. Training should almost always be driven by a third party to help avoid complacency, limit risk and provide a fresh set of eyes on your user’s habits.
As every business transforms into a digital platform, leaders must learn how to build IT strategies that solve for protection, governance and performance. We will provide the perspective to assess requirements, prepare the team (internal and external), and develop the resilience necessary to survive the cyber-challenges that lay ahead.
Author: Michael Abboud, TetherView CEO