By James Warner, Big Data Developer, at www.nexsoftsys.com
Cyber Security is the art of preventing cyberspace and cyber activities from the cyber-attacks. It is a collaboration of various tools, plans, technologies as well as processes. The main aim of the cybersecurity strategy is to protect the devices, programs, networks, computers as well as the data from cyber-attacks. The cybersecurity tools are devised to prevent any sort of unauthorized access or any kind of damage to the system. Basically, cyber security also includes physical security. The demand for cybersecurity has increased massively in the near future. Especially, amongst businesses and corporate setups, as the dependency on the cyberspace is growing. Thus, it has become mandatory to secure the cyberspace.
Though, when it comes to cybersecurity methods and tools, not every company requires a similar kind of strategy and tools. For example, a small-sized firm may not need a similar tool that an MNC would need. Also, the investment that every company is able to do in cyber security varies. Though there is no doubt about the fact that the cyber security’s industry is blooming, and it is expected to touch new heights.
Immense growth of the cyber security industry
The cybersecurity industry is enjoying a very good hike at the moment. As the security of the cyber activities and tools is the major concern of every organization, and even many individuals have realized the importance of cybersecurity, thus, the demand is pretty high. Cybersecurity spending is mostly steered by cyber threats and attacks. Unlike, other Custom Software Development Solutions sectors which are mostly steered by decreasing inefficiencies and boosting productivity. The high number of cyber-attacks is the basic reason that is leading to more and more cyber spending. In fact, the researchers are now unable to actually track the exact future spending of the cybersecurity world. When it comes to the global spending on cybersecurity tools and solution, it is expected to touch the $1 trillion mark in the five year period between 2017 and 2021.
The devastating effect of cyber crimes
Cybercrimes have devastating effects on businesses. They not only adversely impact the financial status of the business, but they also hamper the reputation of the company. Like, in the case of Under Armour’s data breach. The company revealed that they were affected by a very dangerous data breach which adversely impacted more than 150 million users. The cyber-attack affected the company in many ways as the data was stolen. The stolen data included email addresses, passwords as well as the usernames. Though the company tried to act quickly and first of all, they tried to inform their customers. This incident definitely impacted the company in the wrong ways.
Why do businesses even require cybersecurity?
The main reason why the business needs cybersecurity is that they are very active in cyberspace. There are a lot of activities that are happening in the cyberspace also, there is a lot of data which is stored in the clouds, etc. Thus, it has become utmost important to safeguard the cyberspace from crimes, hackings, breaches, etc.
The key objective of any cybersecurity program is to safeguard the systems as well as the cybercrimes. Though, there are many forms and types of cyber-attacks. Cyber-attack involves stealing of data, phishing, while some involve the use of malware as well. But, the worst part is that nowadays, the cybercriminals have started to find out newer and newer ways to break into the cyberspace without authorization. Basically, the cyber-attackers are becoming more and more advanced, and they are finding out cheaper and more dangerous ways to attack a system.
Therefore, there is no other choice than staying one level ahead of the cybercriminals. Hence, companies not only need cybersecurity practices, but they also have to evolve in order to become better and better.
The cybersecurity needs of every business are not the same!
Just as a company may need a different type of office space (varying in size or structure), a different type of tools and devices, in the same way, every company requires a different type of cybersecurity strategies, tools, and programs. But, in order to lay down the specific demands, every company has to first understand the need and importance of cybersecurity.
Here’re a few things to consider while devising your very own cybersecurity strategy (especially for your business):
- Set your Priorities right and add some actionable steps
- The first to build a solid cybersecurity strategy is to set your priorities. And, almost every business will have some diverse set of priorities to work on. Evaluate what’s most important, and what’s less, at the end of the day, you have to be very clear about why you actually need a cybersecurity strategy, as that will help you to build a powerful plan.
- Start noting down the priorities along with the steps to depict what exactly would you like to do and in which order. This is basically the foundation that you need in order to develop very powerful cybersecurity set up. Also, a well thought of priority list will help you and your team curate a very efficient implementation process.
- Along with the priorities, make sure you also note down the required actionable next steps. The steps may also include the requirement of more resources, the need of advanced tools and programs, etc. Though, it will further need more time to finally decide on what you want to exactly invest in. So, basically, you will need to rank your priorities and then work on them one by one. This is similar to a game of chess that requires a lot of planning initiatives as well as at later stages in order to reap benefits.
- And, one of the key things to consider here is that your priority list would not be the same as some other business’ list as every firm has a diverse set of cyber threats.
- A thorough technology roadmap
- In order to conceptualize a strong cybersecurity strategy, you will have to also create a tech roadmap. It should include things like, servers required to attain compliance requisites, the number of projects which have to be completed, etc. The roadmap should be highly technically-focused at the same time, it should also have detailed timelines set for different things.
- The tech-focused roadmap should also include the tools or programs the company is using, and what will they need in the future. You may want to include the financial elements related to different tech products as well.
- Though, it is suggested to get the business leaders from different verticals to sit together and create this roadmap. Every part of the business should be covered and reflected in this technology roadmap.
- Use a threat model for highly efficient response and mitigation processes
- HIPAA, GDPR and a host of other compliance standards offer a thorough list of security methods and controls which have to be adopted. However, it is suggested to design the cybersecurity architecture as per the high priority cyber threats and vulnerabilities of the company.
- There are several effective frameworks to ensure the steady categorization and classification of cyber threat activities. Also, there are several such standards that help to determine the trends of the cyber-attacks. Some standards even offer actionable steps to build a very strong custom threat model.
- The most important part of your cybersecurity strategy is to assess the most common risks and threats to your business. This has to be very personalized, and most specifically about your own business only. Here, you might also want to consider a few things like whether you are using obsolete software which is prone to an attack or are your staff is using extremely weak passwords.
- After you have assessed the key areas of function, the second step would be to understand the type of tools that you would need to avoid risks. You may even want some real-time interactions with certain people in your company to understand the risks better. You will have to basically identify your business’ potential vulnerabilities. As based on this information only you can mention the key focus areas.
Training your staff is the key to attaining ‘cybersecurity successes
Ideally, if you really want your business to be completely secured, then each and every employee of your company should know the importance of cybersecurity. At the same time, they should also be aware of the steps they need to take in order to maintain the cybersecurity of a company. The right set of teams should be trained to know the procedure for assessing a cybersecurity attack. Along with this, a comprehensive strategy is needed to offer lessons on various things like, how to keep your passwords strong, using multi-factor authorization, BYOD rules, how to identify a potential phishing scam, etc.
Though, it is not that if you have trained your staff once, that’s enough. As, the cybercriminals are evolving and their strategies are also becoming advanced, thus, the employees should also be aware of the latest cybersecurity tools and techniques.
How can a business ensure complete cybersecurity?
First of all, one needs to understand that cybersecurity is not just complex, but it is also evolving. It requires collaborative efforts all the way through the information system. A few of the common elements of cyber security may include things like network security, application security, information security, operational security and most importantly the educating the workers and users. At the same time, a company has to have experienced cyber security resources as well as highly advanced cyber security tools in place. This is definitely important to make sure that the company can protect itself from the adverse effect of the cybercrimes.
One size fits all doesn’t work in the world of cybersecurity
As listed in the article, there are plenty of things and factors that a business has to consider in order to devise a personalized cybersecurity strategy. Therefore, it is pretty evident that not all companies can have a similar cybersecurity strategy in place. And, there is a lot of investment of time and efforts required in order to ensure that a company is protected from the attacks.
Also, the kind of cybercrimes are also increasing, and the cybercriminals are becoming smarter and smarter. Thus, the cyber strategies have to also evolve with time, and become better and better in order to prevent the attacks from happening. Though, a business might not even need one kind of a cybersecurity service or, at times, not just one vendor can offer all the services. At the end of the day, cybersecurity is a collective effort of each and everyone that is involved with the company.
About the Author
Business Intelligence Analyst with Excellent knowledge on Hadoop/Big data analysis and Java Application Development at NexSoftSys.com