Welcome to part three of our five part blog series on Cybersecurity 2021. ICYMI (in case you missed it) here is the link to the first tow article, in the series:
With a cyberattack occurring every 39 seconds, organisations cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to cybersecurity.
This problem is very real for both public and private-sector organisations in Australia. Among many high-profile attacks that had occurred in 2020 alone, a successful breach on Service NSW compromised the personal details of 186,000 customers and is likely to result in $7 million of investigation and legal costs for the organisation. Media monitoring company Isentia also suffered a large scale ransomware attack that is expected to cost the company $7 million.
There are many high-quality and affordable security solutions on the market that can prevent situations like this from occurring; however, the challenge is determining the right solution and cybersecurity strategy for your organisation.
Regardless of your organisation’s size or industry, there are three key ingredients that every cybersecurity strategy must have to ensure adequate protection:
- Threat intelligence
Threat intelligence is essentially an organisation’s radar for potential cybersecurity threats. It both prevents and mitigates the impact of a cyberattack. Threat intelligence scans online interactions with the organisation, for example, emails, websites and software code, to determine whether there is a potential risk to the organisation. It alerts IT teams when a threat is detected. Threat intelligence is an important component of the cybersecurity strategy because it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to find patterns in huge amounts of data in near-real time, which frees up IT employees from manual, time-consuming tasks and significantly reduces the risk for human error. This can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful cyberattack on the organisation because AI is less likely to miss a threat indicator than a human.
Automated threat intelligence also scans the organisation’s own infrastructure and alerts the IT team about vulnerabilities in the company’s infrastructure and third-party ecosystem. It delivers consistent information across the organisation at the same time, which makes it much easier to ensure consistent security processes. This helps the organisation coordinate response resources faster during a cyberattack.
- The right security posture
When organisations feel under threat, they can often use quick fixes to resolve the immediate situation. This can result in a knee-jerk reaction to cybersecurity, rather than a well-planned security strategy. A plug-and-play security solution may, or may not, be the right fit for your organisation depending on what systems, infrastructure, networks and users are involved. Also, a patchwork approach of adding security solutions only when the organisation feels threatened can create vulnerabilities. For example, the wrong anti-virus solution for your organisation may not work well with existing software, which can lead to issues in the security solution, providing easy access for cybercriminals to take advantage of. To ensure the right security posture for your organisation, you need to start with a cybersecurity risk assessment to analyse what data exists, the organisation’s IT infrastructure, and the value of the assets to be protected. This needs to be further refined into categories of high, medium and low risk depending on the value of the assets involved and the likelihood of an attack on those assets.
- A security conscious company culture
Employees are an organisation’s first line of defence, and also its greatest weakness, when it comes to cybersecurity. With more employees working remotely, it’s crucial to ensure a security-conscious company culture that goes beyond cybersecurity awareness. Just like any organisational culture, a security-conscious culture builds security into everything the organisation does. While there are rules around online interactions, employees also need to be innately aware and feel personally responsible for ensuring the security of the organisation. Cultural shifts like this take time, so this won’t happen overnight; however, the value of a security-conscious mindset is high so it’s important to invest in making the shift. This can be achieved through regular and continuously updated cyber awareness training and attack simulations. It must also be supported by alignment with organisational security key performance indicators (KPIs) that are connected to employee KPIs and benefits.
More information about additional elements needed in your IT security can be found here, or to identify the most effective security approach for your organisation, contact the Subnet team today.