As we approach the height of 2019’s online shopping season, organizations have never been more reliant on cybersecurity to protect their customers’ financial data.
Since more and more attacks occur every day, unprepared enterprises are often left scrambling for solutions to minimize the damage and financial losses that result from these scenarios. With that in mind, we want to give you an early gift – here are some critical cybersecurity tips to help you survive the holiday season and beyond.
Perfection Doesn’t Exist
While nobody wants to deal with a data breach, it’s important to know that nobody is capable of eliminating every advanced threat that exists. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop most organizations from trying – and failing – to do so anyway.
Perfect cybersecurity should be your goal, but it’s ultimately a practice that will never be 100% achieved due to the nature of technology. As the famous saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Instead, think of it as a game of economic optimization.
How can you maximize resource allocation to minimize risk? What are your most glaring constraints? Where does the path of least resistance lie for potential hackers? Your efforts can’t be successful if the bulk of your technologies are focused on only one area.
If you haven’t applied penetration testing to your technology environment yet, this is something that can dramatically increase your odds of success with relatively little investment. That way, it’s possible for you to uncover unpatched software vulnerabilities, test firewall settings, and stage carefully planned attacks to ensure preventative measures are working properly.
Cybersecurity shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be baked in throughout every element of your technology management process. Any effective architecture should include comprehensive security policies, incident response mechanisms, and clearly designated responsibilities for any employee involved.
The Most Important of All Cybersecurity Tips
The longer you put off security, the more dangerous and expensive it becomes – so get started by building an accurate threat model. To do this, you need to think like a hacker: where would you start if you wanted to access your company’s most valuable data? Follow this path to put necessary obstacles in place that make it more difficult to tread. While this won’t guarantee your safety, making things more challenging more often than not persuades any attacker to simply move on to an easier target instead.
That said, your job isn’t done once a threat model is in place. As you know, things are constantly changing in technology – and security can never be a ‘set it and forget it’ task. To ensure ongoing protection, make sure cybersecurity and its associated risks are a continuous conversation among your executives in board room-level meetings.
Knowledge is Power
Security is only as powerful as the people using and relying on your systems are. And without education, it’s impossible to improve your employees’ actions, accountability levels, and culture. Protecting data only works if everyone’s involved – its weight shouldn’t be left on the shoulders of one person, team, or department.
Therefore, your processes and policies need to stress this priority. Include it as an agenda item on every important meeting, form your culture around secure business practices, and recognize good behavior wherever and whenever it’s visible. Otherwise, your people will fail to see its value or understand the negative consequences that can result.
Is Better Cybersecurity Worth the Investment?
While most point to reduced risks, the ROI of an effective approach goes far beyond this benefit. The real advantage of implementing these cybersecurity tips is a trusted brand your customers can rely on and continue to do business with.
That said, cybersecurity is a puzzle made up of many complex, constantly evolving pieces. Fortunately, we have the tools you need to build a strong foundation, enforce industry-leading protections, and ensure ongoing learning. Make yourself a security expert with AOTMP®’s Telecom Security Management Specialty Certification and upgrade your data protection!