The world of cybersecurity is not always as easy as we think. When we try to delve into it, how much do organizations really know about what goes on in their computer systems? This could mean that not everyone is convinced that security measures are deemed necessary for an organization to run smoothly, plus, it takes up a part of their budget.
As internet use in the world increases, there is a huge shift in how people use computers for their transactions and communication. Personal information and other login credentials can be used by hackers to commit cybercrime, and this could put any organization, business, and institution at risk.
Internet-based crime is one of the fastest-growing security threats in the United States.
According to statistics, consumers in the U.S. are only keenly aware that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing. In 2019, there were about 1,500 data breaches reported in the U.S., 164.68 million exposed records, and 3 billion compromised data records in the biggest Yahoo data breach.
Understanding Cyber Hygiene
These problems and threats can be minimized through basic cyber hygiene. What is cyber hygiene? Cyber hygiene is standardized cybersecurity essentials keep a system’s security in order and maintains its health. It is important to understand what cyber hygiene is in order to maximize the tools we have and decrease the risks of losses in an organization.
First, we must understand the threat.
Due to the massive growth of technology in the past 10 years, there also has been a similar growth of cybercrime, and we should put into consideration that not every crime could have been possibly reported to the authorities.
How do they gain access to your data?
The different ways to access sensitive data include infecting your systems with malware. Malware is software that is intentionally designed to damage and infiltrate computer systems in order to gain unauthorized access. Social Engineering could also be used – this is done by taking advantage of employees and manipulating them to reveal confidential information. The attacker could also find vulnerabilities in a system and exploit them to gain access. Consequently, hackers know how to overload websites or systems with requests until their operations stop completely. This is called DDosDOS (Denial of Service) or DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service).
With more organizations turning to technology, the numbers will only continue to rise. The fact is that most of these organizations might not prioritize cybersecurity before it is too late. In most cases, organizations trust their in-house IT Support to handle their cybersecurity. But the truth is the IT support could lose an organization their money.
Role of IT Support
Yes, the hired IT support makes the organization better and gives the productivity boost the employees need, but there are some valid reasons why one should not listen to them. The answer is not to get rid of the IT support, but to make sure that the IT support not only preserves data but also protects it. IT does not protect an organization’s systems; they only ensure that they are running. Therefore, IT support lacks specialization in the area of protecting data from cyber threats.
‘Cyber Security’ is the term for protecting systems, networks, and data.
In the U.S. alone, so much time is allocated to dealing with cyber breaches and attacks. In 2018-2019, the number of data breaches in the U.S. amounted to 2,700, with over 630 million records exposed. Breaches and attacks a toll on productivity, as employees would need to stop work for the company to deal with the threats. Breaches are inevitable, and every organization is at risk of suffering a breach whenever.
What is the best solution to address cyber threats?
With these threats in mind, a decrease in average daily attacks went down because of standardized solutions that organizations all over the world have come up with; the world’s IT solutions experts use these standards as a guide to protect small to large businesses. These standards encourage organizations to adopt good practices surrounding data security.
One example is the New York- based Center for Internet Security, which has 20 Controls and Resources which will enable business owners to significantly reduce the cyber risks they face every day. The CIS Controls are a recommended set of actions that are continuously updated using current threat information and expert guidance.
Just addressing the first five CIS Controls can already reduce the risk of cyber threats by 85%.
- Inventory and Control of Hardware Assets – Actively manage (inventory, track, and correct) all hardware devices on the network so only authorized devices are given access.
- Inventory and Control of Software Assets – Actively manage (inventory, track, and correct) all software on the network.
- Continuous Vulnerability Management – Continuously acquire, assess, and take action on new information in order to identify vulnerabilities, remediate, and minimize the window of opportunity for attackers.
- Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges – The processes and tools used to track/control/prevent/correct the use, assignment, and configuration of administrative privileges on computers, networks, and applications.
- Secure Configuration for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers – Establish, implement, and actively manage (track, report on, correct) the security configuration of mobile devices, laptops, servers, and workstations
Can IT support alone be trusted to handle threats?
The problem we mentioned of listening to the organization’s IT support comes in: they might have some hesitations in implementing these essentials, because they believe they are capable enough to handle the threats on their own. An important aspect of maintaining cyber hygiene is keeping up to date with the rules and restrictions that all organizations must follow in order to reduce overall cyber threats.
If an IT support company only has a few checked off from the list of standardized controls, the likelihood of an organization being up to the standard is very low. The technical controls in place and firewalls might not be enough to reduce the risk of cyber threats.
What are the benefits of following security controls?
Security controls like the CIS controls and other controls like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Internet Security Essentials for Business are supported by the US government and in accordance with their cybersecurity standard. These are proven to have decreased data breaches and attacks, all thanks to the technical controls in place.
Time, money, and resources are all at stake when one does not take their cybersecurity seriously. Security controls that your IT support is required to follow can bring your organization to a higher level by giving you opportunities that only certified organizations can have. This can help you build connections with other organizations in the industry.
As a result, this can save you thousands of dollars and time, which means you can focus on making money for your organization. Cybersecurity is an investment for your company’s future that pays off big time in the long run. Building and maintaining a good foundation for your IT infrastructure can help run your organization smoothly as you aim for success.
Speak to the specialists for Cyber Security.
Turn to security specialists that have the cyber accreditation that you can trust to reduce your cyber threats. They can identify the gaps in your cybersecurity measures and adapt to your working style. Their job is to be ready in assisting, assessing, verifying, fixing, and certifying your organization.
The aim is not to replace your IT support but work with them in order to maintain your cyber hygiene. Organizations can thrive, grow, and build meaningful connections in the industry once stakeholders and clients have the reassurance that every effort is done to protect their data.