2019 is just over a week old; we at The Threat Report take this occasion to discuss cybersecurity best practices, stressing on important aspects including importance, training et al.
Let’s begin with a proper introduction. Well, as part of the introduction, we’d like to point out that for any business today, especially those that depend on the internet, there needs to be a cybersecurity culture.
Now, when we discuss cybersecurity, we often tend to dismiss it as a mere technology issue and would want the tech guys to discuss and tackle it. In fact, cybersecurity is not at all a technology thing; that it is a technology problem is one of the biggest misunderstandings that many business owners have even today. It’s, in fact, a business problem- more of a managerial and operation issue than a technology thing. When we understand and acknowledge this fact and then devise cybersecurity best practices based on that understanding, businesses would be able to work it all out in a more effective and more dynamic manner. Cybersecurity would then attain new dimensions and businesses would turn securer.
Understanding the importance of the human element…
Many businesses fail to understand the human factor in cybersecurity; in fact, the human element is the most important part of the whole cybersecurity process. Take the statistics for any year and you’d find that most of the cyberattacks would have occurred because of preventable human errors. Cybercriminals tend to use all means to hit at this weak link in the cybersecurity chain and make the most of it.
Once companies understand this, they could do certain things that are crucial as regards cybersecurity. On the one hand, organizations can, keeping in mind the importance of the human factor, strive for diversity in its security team and hence plan recruitments accordingly. On the other hand, companies can focus greatly on training their people as regards cybersecurity best practices.
Coming to diversity in the security team, it has to be understood that it’s not just the tech guys, the computer science graduates who need to be there in the team. Even those with non-technical backgrounds, for example, those who have graduated in behavioral science or humanities, would help add new perspectives to the cybersecurity process within an organization. Similarly, ensuring participation of women employees too would be good as they are more suited to certain positions requiring behavioral sciences-related skills or communication skills. (As of now, women represent only one-fifth of the global cybersecurity workforce, as per recent studies). A workforce that comprises people with diverse skills is the best.
Based on the realization that the human element is of great importance in cybersecurity, businesses should devise training plans that would help employees understand how they contribute greatly to the overall security of the company. They need to be taught that what they do on the individual level, especially as regards following cybersecurity best practices, contribute immensely to the overall cybersecurity posture of the organization that they represent. The employees need to be trained on various important aspects including identifying and preventing phishing attacks, mobile device security, understanding the risks etc. Some experts even opine that personalized training, which could be planned after making a clear assessment of individual skills and knowledge of each employee, would also be good.
Thus, the basic thing that business today must understand is that it’s not just software or technology that contributes to cybersecurity. It’s the human element that has to be focused on!
Understanding who’s responsible for cybersecurity!
So, who takes responsibility for cybersecurity in a company? Well, it depends. In most companies, it’s the CTO who’d be responsible for everything pertaining to cybersecurity, especially the allocation of the budget and the creation of the resources needed to take care of cybersecurity. While some companies would have a full-fledged IT team taking care of cybersecurity among other tech issues, some would have just one person (the CTO or CIO) in charge of the whole thing. Some organizations partner with cybersecurity firms to manage the security aspect. But the fact remains that there should always be someone who takes responsibility for cybersecurity within an organization; it’s that important. Moreover, looking at it from another perspective, the responsibility for cybersecurity trickles down to every single employee within an organization.
The technology aspect is important as well!
We did say, in the beginning, that cybersecurity is not a technology thing but more of a business and operational issue. That, of course, is right. But this doesn’t mean that we need to overlook the technology aspect. Prevention strategies can be worked out only by implementing proper technological solutions too. Cybersecurity firms are developing all kinds of security software, using advanced technologies, that help fight threats and cybercriminals very effectively. New technologies, like AI (Artificial Intelligence) for instance, are being utilized to make cybersecurity more dynamic and effective. Intrusion detection technologies are being developed keeping in pace with the new modes and techniques that are adopted by the cybercriminals to break into organizational networks. Hence, every organization should understand that the technology aspect too is important as regards cybersecurity.
Planning the budget for cybersecurity…
Cybersecurity, as we always point out, is key to the success of any business today. Hence, every company should have a budget set aside for cybersecurity. Planning the budget, however, depends on the company- its size, security requirements, the nature of the business done etc. It needs to be decided, based on such factors, as to what kind of security software would be needed, how many people would the IT team need to have, what kind of cybersecurity strategy needs to be in place etc. The budget for any organization is planned, keeping in mind all these and many other factors. But a budget for cybersecurity is a must, for any organization today that depends on the internet in one way or the other.