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These days, it seems like every business has a cybersecurity strategy—or, at least, they should. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when we consider how much cybercrime is costing businesses and how frequently we hear about data breaches in the news. But while everyone’s talking, not everyone’s doing—and even fewer people are measuring the effectiveness of their security efforts. In this guest post Brent Whitfield helps you with your cybersecurity strategy and implementation plan.
The unfortunate truth is that most organizations will not be able to define an effective strategy on their own without help, especially newer companies and those that operate in highly regulated industries. While some may have a systems-based approach to mitigating risk, this often misses the human element of security where so many breaches originate. Just take a look at the sheer number of phishing and spear-phishing attacks or other incidents caused by employee negligence. All it takes is just one click from a user on a malicious link or attachment to cause a major incident.
Overall, this means that most organizations need experts such as Managed IT Security Los Angeles to come in and perform an audit of their systems. They are looking for guidance to develop a strategy for implementing new cybersecurity measures, particularly ones dealing with deception technology, which relies heavily on being able to identify the human behaviours involved with phishing attacks.
A cybersecurity strategy is a high-level plan for securing an organization’s resources and minimizing cyber risk. Like a cybersecurity policy, the strategy should be flexible to allow it to adapt to an ever-changing threat landscape and business climate. Strategies are usually developed with a three-to-five-year vision but should be updated frequently. While policies provide more detail and specific requirements, strategies are like blueprints guiding key stakeholders as the company evolves over time.
Companies with untested or non-existent cybersecurity strategies are often those who have faced recent intrusions or are part of an industry that has suffered a major cyberattack or similar security breach. Often, cybersecurity strategy and intrusion prevention may be an afterthought in a world filled with what seem like (at first glance) more pressing dangers such as the pandemic and the myriad of problems that COVID-19 has brought with it. Businesses without even the most basic level of cybersecurity are wide open for cybercriminals to invade and rob the most precious of corporate and personal data. Due to remote work and the increased use of cloud computing and SaaS, businesses are now required (in most industries) to begin to comply with local and industry security frameworks and regulations in order to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and classified data. For more information on this, please contact Los Angeles IT Support.
As the trend toward information security and compliance becomes more widespread, companies are increasingly required to demonstrate not only their security preparedness but also their ability to protect themselves. This can be particularly challenging in the context of business partnerships or mergers and acquisitions—both federal and private—that involve the exchange of sensitive data. Government agencies tasked with oversight over these types of transactions often require robust protection measures as a condition of approval.
Shareholders, boards of directors, and other stakeholders must make sure that corporations are equipped to handle cyberattacks and extortion attempts such as ransomware. These kinds of attacks can be carried out for a number of reasons including corporate or state espionage, financial gain, claim to notoriety or even just for fun (a dare to break into highly secure systems). Whatever the motive may be, businesses still need to protect themselves. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data on your computer and demands a ransom in order to restore access. Social engineering attacks are usually carried out by hackers who trick their victims into doing their bidding. These are well-researched psychological attacks designed to penetrate the psychological defenses of an unsuspecting individual or group of individuals at a company, large enterprise, or federal facility.
Security vulnerabilities can often crop up due to shortcuts taken during production or design phases. The most prized possession for hackers or cyber-terrorists is intellectual property (IP)—including trade secrets, program code, and other sensitive information. This is why security-in-production programs (CSIPs) are critical for businesses. Subterfuge and manipulative tactics that are a hallmark of social engineering attacks can often be used to open the door for IP to be publicized or exploited by competing firms. Ensuring that regular security audits and vulnerabilities are identified and data security gaps are closed should be one of the highest priorities for any information security director. CSIP can protect your firm’s IP and trade secrets from falling into the wrong hands.
Highly regulated industries such as healthcare and finance require security policies and procedures to protect sensitive data. These policies and procedures are often part of a compliance plan known as a CSIP (Compliance Status Information Program) or an IRP (Information Resources Policy). Managed IT Services Los Angeles can help your local business implement the same.
Brent Whitfield is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions LLC. DCG provides specialist advice and IT Consulting Los Angeles area businesses need to remain competitive and productive while being sensitive to limited IT budgets.
Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business. He also leads SMBTN – Los Angeles, an MSP peer group that focuses on continuing education for MSPs and IT professionals. https://www.dcgla.com was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor. Stay connected via LinkedIn.