Consultant, Tom Watson looks at the importance of cyber security strategies and why organisations should ensure they are cyber-resilient to protect them from a potential cyberattack.
In the current digital world, data plays a significant role in the functioning and success of organisations, with many storing vast amounts of sensitive information on their databases; including financial records, intellectual property, personal customer data and trading standards. Subsequently, appropriate cyber security strategies ensure that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of different types of data are protected from unauthorised access, theft or manipulation. Data breaches and the exposure of information can lead to severe financial losses and reputational damage, making robust and appropriate cybersecurity measures essential.
Protecting Data & Intellectual Property
With the increase in digitalisation and storage of large amounts of data, there has been an increase in the number of cyberattacks and data breaches worldwide. Implementing appropriate cyber measures allows for the protection of sensitive data, and reduces the risk of stolen data and Intellectual Property (IP). IP is a highly valuable asset for many organisations. It comprises trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and trademarks that offer businesses a competitive edge over their competitors. Cybersecurity aids in preventing the theft or unauthorised access of this information, preserving innovation and proprietary information. Strong security measures also protect a business’s investment in R&D, ensuring its ongoing success and growth, without compromising potential ideas and innovations.
Equally, customers’ personal data is also highly valuable for organisations; if lost or compromised, it can lead to a lack of trust and confidence. Subsequently, customers’ trust can be undermined by data breaches or cyberattacks which can result in reputational damage. Customers expect organisations to protect their privacy and manage their personal information with care. Many show their dedication to safeguarding customer data, creating trust and upholding long-term relationships, by placing a high priority on cyber security.
Cyberattacks have developed and become more widespread, posing a serious risk to people and organisations. There are multiple types of cyber threats, including malware, phishing, MitM, Ransomware and DDoS, with multiple more becoming apparent on a day-to-day basis. Cyberattackers have a structural advantage as they just need to uncover one vulnerability that can be exploited throughout an organisation. As a result, attackers can cover less ground than defenders and frequently adapt more quickly than businesses can counterattack or recoup, which means the ‘risk’ environment has grown more unstable.
Additionally, professional cybercriminal organisations have expanded and are constantly developing new techniques, as well as increasing the volume of cyberattacks. This is not only more dangerous, but the increased time it takes to formulate a response costs an organisation’s cybersecurity specialists valuable time and money. Sometimes, cybersecurity teams feel compelled to forego strategically vital tasks in order to take care of urgent tactical problems.
Protecting and Identifying Cyber Risks
There are multiple ways for organisations to protect themselves from cyberattacks. By benchmarking against established and appropriate security standards, organisations can implement appropriate measures and remain compliant with recognised standards. Some examples include Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Pus, ISO27001 and NIST. Although there are several standards and processes that organisations can follow to become cyber compliant, carrying these out and developing new regulations takes time… and a cyberattack can take seconds: a scary thought.
The rate of new and emerging technologies is exceeding organisational capacity to create and implement adequate security safeguards for them. If organisations want to be cyber-resilient, they must continually adapt and develop their cyber strategies.
If you’re a technology professional working across Scotland, considering your options and seeking career advice; or a client seeking a contract/interim technology solution, please get in touch for a confidential discussion: [email protected]