Building a Cybersecurity Program for your Business

Cybersecurity protects all types of data from theft or damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property, data, and governmental and industry information systems.

Your organization is vulnerable to data breaches and can’t be protected without a cybersecurity program. Cybercriminals will find you an easy target.

Global connectivity and the use of cloud services like Amazon Web Services to store personal data is driving both inherent and residual risk. The risk of your company being the victim of a successful cyberattack or data breach is increasing due to the widespread poor configuration and sophistication of cyber criminals.

Cybercriminals are getting smarter, and their strategies are more resistant to traditional cyber defenses. Business leaders cannot rely solely on standard cybersecurity solutions such as firewalls and antivirus software.

Any level of your company can be a victim to cyber threats. Your staff should be aware of simple scams such as phishing, ransomware attacks (think WannaCry), and other cyber threats that can steal intellectual property and personal data.

Businesses of all sizes can no longer ignore cybersecurity thanks to the GDPR and other laws. Businesses of all sizes are frequently affected by security incidents, and these incidents often appear on the front page, causing irreversible reputational damage.

We have created a post to help you understand cyber security and the various elements that cybercrime can cause.

Cybersecurity is something you need to be concerned about.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the state or process of protecting and recovering computer systems, networks, devices, and programs from any type of cyber attack. Cyberattacks are a growing threat to your sensitive data. Attackers use new techniques powered by artificial intelligence and social engineering to bypass traditional security controls.

The truth is that technology is becoming more important in our world. This dependence will only increase as we introduce new smart Internet-enabled devices with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi access.

You can find our complete guide to cybersecurity here.

Cybersecurity: The Importance

Cybersecurity is becoming more important. Our society is technologically more dependent than ever before, and this trend is not slowing down. Data leaks that could result in identity theft are now publicly posted on social media accounts. Cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive now store sensitive information, including social security numbers, credit card information, bank account details, and bank account details.

It doesn’t matter if you are an individual or a small business, your daily reliance on computers is essential. Pair this with the rise in cloud services, poor cloud service security, smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT) and we have a myriad of cybersecurity threats that didn’t exist a few decades ago. We need to understand the difference between cybersecurity and information security, even though the skillsets are becoming more similar.

Cybercrimes are being addressed by governments around the globe. The GDPR is an excellent example. This has made data breaches more publicized by requiring all EU-based organizations to:

  • Communicate data breaches
  • Designate a data protection officer
  • To process any information, you must obtain the consent of the user
  • Anonymize data for privacy

Europe is not the only country that has embraced public disclosure. Although there aren’t any laws that govern data breach disclosure in the United States of America, there are data breach laws in every 50 state. These are the commonalities:

  • Notifying affected parties as soon as possible is a requirement
  • Please let the government know as soon and as quickly as possible
  • Pay some kind of fine

California was the first state in 2003 to regulate data breach disclosures. It required businesses and individuals to notify affected parties “without unreasonable delay” or “immediately after discovery”. Victims may sue for as much as $750, while companies can be fined up $7,500.

This has led standards boards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create frameworks that help organizations understand their cybersecurity risks, improve cybersecurity measures, and prevent cyberattacks.

Cybercrime is on the rise.

Cybercrime is growing at an alarming rate, with information theft being the most costly and lucrative segment. Cloud services are a major driver of increasing identity information being exposed online. It is not the only target. It is possible to disrupt or destroy industrial controls that control power grids and other infrastructure. Cyberattacks can also be used to steal identity, but this is not the only goal. They may seek to destroy or modify data to create distrust within an organization or government.

Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated and changing the targets they choose, how they impact organizations, and their attack methods for different security systems.

Social engineering remains the easiest form of cyber attack with ransomware, phishing, and spyware being the easiest form of entry. Poor cybersecurity practices and third-party vendors that process your data are another common attack vector. Vendor risk management and third party risk management are crucial.

The Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study by Accenture and Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of cybercrime has increased by $1.4 Million over the past year to $13.0million. Additionally, the average number of data breaches has risen by 11 percent to145. Information risk management has never been more important.

Data breaches may include financial information such as bank account details or credit card numbers, personally identifiable information (PII), trade secret, intellectual property, and other targets for industrial espionage. Other terms for data breaches include unintentional information disclosure, data leak, cloud leak, information leakage or a data spill.

Cybercrime is also growing due to other factors, such as:

  • The distributed nature and accessibility of the Internet
  • Cybercriminals have the ability to attack targets that are not within their jurisdiction, making it extremely difficult for police to enforce laws.
  • Increasing profitability and ease of commerce on the dark web
  • The explosion of mobile devices and Internet of Things.

What is Cybercrime’s Impact?

In a variety of ways, a lack of cybersecurity awareness can cause immense damage to your business.

Economic costs

Theft of corporate information, theft of intellectual property, disruption of trading, and the cost to repair damaged systems.

Reputational cost

Loss of trust in consumers, loss of customers to competitors, and poor media coverage.

Regulative costs

Your organization could be subject to regulatory sanctions or fines under the GDPR and other data breaches laws.

No matter the business’ size, all businesses must ensure that their staff are aware of cybersecurity threats and how they can be mitigated. This should include regular training and a framework to work with to that aims to reduce the risk of data leaks or data breaches.

It is difficult to assess the costs of security breaches due to the nature of cybercrime, and the difficulty it can pose in detecting it. Even a small security incident or data breach can cause significant reputational damage. Consumers are expecting more sophisticated cybersecurity measures in the future.

Are You at Risk for a Data Breach in Your Business?

WaTech protects your business against data breaches and helps you identify data leaks. Contact us for a free security assessment and start building your cybersecurity program today.