Cyber security is a collective responsibility. Companies have long been practicing a one-dimension approach to counterattack cyber attackers. Considering how the corporate culture has been investing resources in the IT department to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and fail to delegate the responsibility across teams, the threat was always getting bigger and finding easy entry points to cause irreparable damage. In the technology world, the lack of knowledge is the sinking hole.
There’s no fix for a problem when you don’t know when or where it’s going to strike. Unfortunately, more companies have fallen victim to the imaginary layer of security than cyber attackers breaching the internal security to access the information.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) puts cyber-related threats on the same list as climate change, extreme weather occurrences, and natural disasters. The cyberattacks stand third in the list after data fraud and theft. These are the top risks society is facing this year. The gravity of the situation is summed up in the right way to send the message across.
There are several services providers such as assured bridge to manage security-related processes at its end. Small and medium-sized businesses have a higher vulnerability to data fraud. Part of the problem is the budget.
They don’t have the financial muscle to invest heavily in security measures. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand the nature of threats and the technology required to continue performing better than competitors.
“Cyber-attacks pose a threat to a business of any size, shape. The risks could emerge from internal security issues such as outdated software installed, errors in coding or lack of ethical practices exposing the system to unwanted threats from random attacks”.
#1. Make Cyber Security a Part of Management Challenges
The Board needs to address the cyber security risks along with other management topics. The decisions would have the same level of intensity when a unified approach has been set in motion right from the top to the ground level.
To have a different set of members appointed to manage and frame cybersecurity-related policies would complicate things further. There’s no need to treat cyber risks as a different challenge from other management topics. Instead, they’ll be able to send a strong signal to other employees to implement cyber-related policies with diligence, non-compromising approach.
The only challenge is to have the right kind of expertise among the board members. Companies have a diversified board room with members representing different departments to what the situation was a decade ago.
All board members are aware of the importance of making the right investments to keep the online intellectual property safe.
#2. Password Management
How on earth did we miss the point of generating passwords in the first place? It also highlights a grave situation. The employee cyber security training programs lack a customized approach to cater to professionals from different teams, departments. It sounds quite obvious for employees to keep foolproof passwords. Is that the case?
No amount of investment would work unless employees keep stronger passwords to protect company data. A password manager sounds like an ideal fix to stop unnecessary attacks. The management team must address the issue before someone makes a silly mistake and puts everybody in shame.
#3. Regular Risk Evaluation is Integral to Policy Making
Better information leads to better decisions and policies. Companies should evaluate security threats at regular intervals. The assessment program would indicate specific areas being prone or repeatedly targeted to expose the system.
The assessment would have a direct impact on the kind of investment made in technology. Our knowledge hinders the growth process. Top companies believe in gathering information across industries to have a stronger sense of understanding of new challenges hitting the markets.
Companies need to have complete information on the kind of threats encountered in the last week, month. It offers them an opportunity to analyze whether these threats were under the market reports (What other industries were facing) or not. They’d have an easy time strengthening the security measures if they’ve been monitoring the situation regularly.
#4. Arrange Cyber Security Training Programs to make Employees Accountable
Companies should take responsibility if employees fail to follow security practices. The training sessions need to be interactive, involve employees to make them learn from real situations.
The best option is to use existing mistakes as a case without taking names to keep everybody engaged and keep them on their toes.
The training programs should be customized to meet the comfort level of the trainee. There’s no point in conducting sessions where everybody is a spectator, not a participant.
Companies need to adopt a strict approach to implement cybersecurity-related practices. They need to test or perform dummy tests to analyze how employees conduct themselves during these situations.
One technique is to send phishing emails on purpose to check what the recipients do next. The NIST email security guidelines should be a part of the training sessions.
#5. Limited Admin Access, External Devices, and Periodic Updates
On the question of whom to allow the admin access and whom to reject makes a tough decision. However, one thing is clear: access should be allowed to keep the job responsibility and nature of work in mind.
As mentioned earlier, it’s about developing a work culture where people know how to stay away from cyber attacks. Employees bring their own devices to work.
They use company Wi-Fi. It could be a problem area. Companies need to have a system in place where all devices are screened or authenticated before use.
Every employee should update the system, software, apps whenever required.
It keeps the system secure from emerging cyber-attacks. However, it’s again an individual responsibility to install the updates or risk exposing data to unknown sources.
These practices would reduce the chances of cyberattacks drastically. Human error is considered one of the prime reasons the system is left open for hackers to steal information.