Risk management is a major responsibility for organizational leaders. Boards of directors are increasingly becoming aware of cybersecurity as a crucial part of business continuity and infrastructure. The trickiest part of assessing cyber risks is knowing where the threats are going to come from and how to protect your organization against the constantly evolving cybercriminals. Going into 2022, first look internally to see if cyber risks are right under your nose.
While threats come from many places, sometimes they can come from inside organizations and affect operating systems other than PCs. Here are four threats organizations should protect against with a robust cybersecurity program:
ONE: Insider threats are rapidly becoming a major source of business disruption. Organizations with sensitive data are becoming increasingly vulnerable to employees, either maliciously or unwittingly, exposing data to bad actors. One study by a large telecommunications firm, reports a 47% increase in insider threats between 2018 and 2020. The potential of insiders exposing an organization to devastating losses is likely to gain momentum as hackers see tremendous gains from bribing people to do their dirty work. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Integration Center says, “It is vital that organizations understand normal employee baseline behaviors and also ensure employees understand how they may be used as a conduit for others to obtain information” Being on the lookout for malicious intent is not something most organizations want to do but there are mitigation steps that help reduce the risk: mapping workflows and controlling access to data based on job function, multi-factor authorization for network access, and most importantly, cybersecurity awareness training for users that includes teaching potential physical security threats in addition to smishing, vishing and phishing threats, as examples of threats online and through telecommunications.
TWO: The Internet of Things (IOT) has inherent vulnerabilities affecting the larger economy. Cybersecurity is often perceived to include only PCs and networks, but computers control important infrastructure throughout the world. Stories of pipelines, power grids, and industrial robotics being highjacked are growing exponentially. Many IOT projects were implemented before cybersecurity was a pillar of industrial planning and organizations are struggling to secure thousands of local IOT devices. Implementing protections, like SecureEdge, for access controls to infrastructure requires expertise not common to most cybersecurity firms. Because industrial engineers cannot be expected to be cybersecurity experts, selecting a cybersecurity firm that understands specific industrial operational intricacies is crucial.
THREE: Relying on an internal IT team for cybersecurity protection is a common mistake and one that creates a lot of unnecessary risk. Strong IT professionals are continuously educating themselves on cyber threats and seeking to close gaps that could lead to catastrophic failures. However, full cybersecurity protection is a program that includes analyzing people, processes and technology while continuously monitoring the global threat environment. Engaging with a true cybersecurity partner focused on understanding your unique organization and its vulnerabilities keeps the objective lens needed to optimize and consolidate data loss prevention, allowing your IT team to stay focused on maximizing productivity.
FOUR: Lacking a full cybersecurity program is still the number one risk management problem for organizations to solve. Single tools on a firewall will not protect against social engineering, password hacking, or other cyber threats. As a key first step toward realizing full cybersecurity, organizations need to understand the risks present in their current programs and how to fill the gaps. A cybersecurity risk assessment report details the full scope of potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities present in an organization’s environment.
Solutionz Security’s Defense Posture Assessment (DPA) provides a highly detailed 150+ page report that highlights an organization’s potential risks and prioritizes needed steps to reach Zero Trust Architecture. Because Solutionz Security’s free DPA report is so comprehensive, it satisfies many annual cybersecurity compliance requirements. Contact Solutionz Security to see how easy we make getting your cyber risk management house in order and let us take some major stress out of 2022!