Today, data is one of the most valuable business assets. Enterprises need vast volumes of data to orchestrate effective digital marketing campaigns, power e-commerce platforms, and inform business intelligence. Unfortunately, criminals realize this too. Over the years, cybercriminals have devised ingenious techniques to steal corporate secrets, sabotage business operations, and extort money from organizations.
Cybercrime is quickly becoming the single most devastating threat to businesses as cyberattacks grow more sophisticated, targeted, and prevalent. In 2020, over 30,000 cybersecurity incidents were reported worldwide. Yet, in a survey, only 59 percent of SMB owners expressed confidence in their cyberattack readiness. And only 28 percent of the respondents said they had a cyber incident response plan in place.
Nowadays, it’s not about if you’ll get attacked, but when. This is what makes having a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy so important. To reinforce this point, let’s look at three main areas of concern when it comes to IT security:
Data safety is a priority for any cybersecurity framework. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to guarantee the safety of sensitive customer, employee, and corporate information. Without a firm handle on data safety, you risk highly sensitive information falling into the wrong hands and being used in personalized attacks.
However, data protection is becoming more challenging as organizations shift to remote and hybrid workplaces and adopt cloud-based systems. So, IT teams have to work around additional telecommuting and cloud security challenges.
Another thing to keep in mind is data safety compliance. There are currently dozens of data protection and privacy standards legally enforced on statutory, national, and international levels. Regulations such as the GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, PCI DSS, and many others lay strict rules regarding the collecting and handling of sensitive information, particularly personally identifiable information (PII). Noncompliance with these laws attracts heavy penalties, including fines, termination of contracts, and loss of business permits.
Finally, you need to be aware of the ever-expanding cyber threat landscape. A robust cybersecurity system must keep up with current and emerging threats. Doing so is only getting tougher as threat actors continue to employ newer attack vectors and techniques. Some modern threats to keep an eye out for include:
- Social engineering
- Attacks on IoT networks and devices
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS)
- Supply chain attacks
- Man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM)
- Zero-day exploits
- Malware and SQL injections
On top of that, cyber incidents pack a heavy punch. Today, the average cost of a data breach stands at an all-time high of $4.24 million. Not to mention the risk of breaking customer trust and ruining brand reputation after a successful attack.
Taking a holistic cybersecurity approach
Cybersecurity is part of business accountability, resilience, and survival. What we do today can affect the future of personal, consumer, and business cybersecurity. As such, it’s crucial to integrate IT security in every aspect of a modern business. A holistic cybersecurity approach covers all the bases, from threat awareness and analysis to proactive security measures against risks and threat response in case of an attack. Rather than just thinking about cybersecurity once a year, it’s important to make it a year round effort.
Every organization has a unique IT infrastructure, data estate, and cyber risk profile. So, cybersecurity efforts mainly depend on the organization or business model in question. But a comprehensive cybersecurity framework should include:
- Solid security governance and policies
- Extensive threat intelligence
- Network security
- Real-time systems monitoring and threat alerts
- Dependable user authentication
- Strict privilege management
- Employee training
- Adequate resources dedicated to threat response and mitigation
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The small steps you take toward enhancing your cybersecurity could one day save your business, customers, and employees from a devastating attack. In the dangerous virtual world, you can’t afford to let IT security take the back seat. Take charge of digital security today with KME Systems. Our proactive cybersecurity solutions put your business one step ahead of cybercriminals. Contact KME to learn more.