Organizations face all sorts of risks that threaten to derail their progress and inhibit future growth. The headlines likely don’t provide much comfort as you read about another major company becoming a victim of a massive security breach. There’s a lot to worry about out there, and the tiniest mistake can quickly be exploited, putting your business’s survival into question.
Cyber crime is a 100-billion-dollar industry; insider threats are responsible for 43% of data loss among companies that have experienced data breaches; and 25% of all mobile devices (the mobile devices your employees are working from everyday) encounter a threat each month.
Yes, the risks are real and formidable, but they’re not impossible to defend against. The first step is knowing specifically what those risks are, followed by learning the methods to combat them. Only then will you have greater peace of mind knowing your company will be well protected now and into the future.
The category of cybercrime covers a lot of areas, from a lone hacker launching a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack to a network of cyber attackers running a full-on campaign against a specific target. Cybercrime can be relentless, with many of the culprits managing to remain anonymous even if their attacks are unsuccessful.
Cybercrime can come in the form of a simple email with a link to a suspicious website embedded within, or it may lurk in an unsecured WiFi hotspot. In any case, the very threat of cybercrime can keep IT personnel up at night.
It’s almost impossible to account for every type of attack that could be launched against you but there are ways to prepare for the worst. Cyber resilience programs identify the most valuable and vulnerable systems and data, placing the greatest amount of defenses there. Such programs focus on rapid response utilizing the latest in IT security measures. They also concentrate on improving cyber resilience, effectively ensuring your company can continue to function even in the event of an attack.
2. The Threats Within
While you may worry about the types of threats that exist outside your business, there could be unseen dangers from inside your organization. This can happen in two ways: disgruntled employees who want to cause the company damage or employees who simply are uninformed about the dangers.
Disgruntled employees likely know their way around the systems and defenses put in place, which means they are able to leverage that knowledge to steal data and plant malware. Uninformed workers may unwittingly introduce malware into a system or connect to a network with an unsecured device. In either case, the threat originates from inside your business.
While threats coming from within sound just as frightening as those from outside, there are ways to combat them. You’ll want to train your employees so they are educated about the types of risks that are out there. They’ll need to learn how to protect themselves when they’re online while also engaging in practices that keep the company safe.
Disgruntled employees can be fended off by ensuring access and privileges are monitored closely. You’ll want to know specifically who has access to what and record account activity in detail. You may also use a remote video monitoring service to observe employee behavior at all times, which gives added incentive to them not to try anything harmful.
3. Mobile Devices
As employees use more devices on the job, they’re also introducing an added element of uncertainty and risk. Some of the devices they use could be unpatched or unpatchable. This has become a particular concern for organizations that adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. As complex as the problem is now, as the Internet of Things (IoT) gains in popularity, employees will only bring more connected devices into the workplace and all the complications that entails.
To deal with the risk of unpatched devices, you may want to consider a patch management program. This program works by making sure all devices and software being used have all the latest updates, filling in any holes that might be there otherwise for hackers to exploit. You’ll also want to prepare now for IoT before it becomes a major issue.
Since IoT doesn’t have universal security standards for now, monitoring any new connected devices will be necessary. Ultimately, it may come down to asking employees if they really need the device to do their jobs. Special attention should be placed on securing the cloud, which is the primary means of communication for IoT devices.
These examples are just a small sample of the total risks your business is up against. In the end, all that matters is that you are aware of the risks that come with running a business. The truth of the matter is that you won’t be able to predict or protect against every possible attack your business will face. As a result, the ability to pivot quickly when one of these attacks happens to you will be the key to surviving it.
About the Author: Rick Delgado is a freelancer tech writer and commentator. He enjoys writing about new technologies and trends, and how they can help us. Rick occasionally writes for several tech companies and industry publications.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this and other guest author articles are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.