Today, organizations must be cyber resilient to be successful; able to withstand multiple security incidents or breaches and continue to meet their strategic goals. We all recognize that deploying antivirus on every workstation and keeping your fingers crossed is not adequate defense against today’s cyber criminals.
You are only good as your weakest link
It only takes one weakness in your business ecosystem for a breach to happen. According to an Accenture study, 40 percent of security breaches are indirect attacks that target weak links in the supply chain.
A holistic approach to cybersecurity is the most efficient and effective path to cyber resiliency. It goes beyond network security by create a culture shift across your entire business ecosystem: people, processes, technology and vendors.
Cyber Resilience accelerates your growth
The Accenture study also showed that leaders in cyber resiliency more quickly remediate a security breach and avoid costly and possibly devastating financial setbacks.
With the question now being “When will I be breached?” as opposed to “If I will be breached”, companies that prepare survive.
What are the fundamental steps for a cyber resilient and holistic cybersecurity program?
Step 1: Identify the data your business is entrusted to protect.
Whether it’s customer payment information, patient health records, personal financial information, or intellectual property, every company has sensitive data it stores, processes, and transmits to conduct business. As a business, you must protect it in order to maintain customer trust.
Step 2: Determine where data is stored and who is accessing it.
Once you identify what sensitive data you have, you must determine where it really is stored and who is using it to conduct business. Data quickly propagates for valid business needs but is often not securely stored and managed. You can’t protect sensitive information if you don’t know where it is and who is accessing it, including your vendors.
Step 3: Inventory all hardware and software devices in your network.
When critical security issues are made known, you need to know the specific devices in your environment that must be updated or patched. Creating and maintaining an inventory of your hardware and software devices is key to establishing a robust cybersecurity program.
Step 4: Develop and implement workforce cyber awareness training.
Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue; it’s an organization-wide issue that requires a culture of cyber resiliency. Protection of sensitive data comes down to the end-users who are accessing and using it. If they don’t know or understand their responsibilities for protecting sensitive data and interacting securely with a company computer system, they may unknowingly put you at risk. Your employees must be continually trained to recognize and report phishing attacks, baiting, and suspicious activity.
Step 5: Manage your remote workforce security.
Companies now have a significant percentage of employees who work and access company systems remotely. Businesses need direct insights into the security of the employee’s remote environments to quickly identify and minimize vulnerabilities with a dispersed workforce.
Step 6: Develop validation on the return on investment to show your cybersecurity program is effective and efficient.
Limited time and staffing are the most common challenges businesses face when it comes to effective cybersecurity. Having a third-party to perform penetration testing, scans, and security risk assessments for your organization is key to getting an objective validation and benchmarking that your cybersecurity program is effective and that your sensitive data is as secure as possible.
Step 7: Build a body of evidence that you are protecting sensitive data to reduce liabilities.
We have seen many times where organizations have made significant investments in technology and training and yet are still breached. Failure to document their efforts led to significant fines and penalties, and negative social media. Records must be maintained, and compliance documented, otherwise your efforts to protect sensitive data are of little value.
CyberCompass Surveyor components identify and prioritize risks through a variety of vulnerability scans, testing and standards based assessments.
CyberCompass Calibrator components focus on remediating, reducing and managing risks with guidance from our team of experts.
Rapid changes to the work environment has left businesses vulnerable. Our Remote Workforce Security program allows you to assess and increase the security of your remote employees.
Your people are your first line of defense against cyber attacks. Our CyberCompass Academy provides cybersecurity awareness training to increase your human firewall.