According to CIO magazine, there are four major information security threats that IT professionals must manage and overcome in 2017. These include cybersecurity threats and risks associated with brand reputation, compliance regulations, supercharged connectivity, and crime-as-a-service. Business leaders who fail to understand, mitigate, and prepare for these risks will increase the likelihood of financial loss, operational downtime, market share shrinkage, and public relations damage.
Brand Reputation Management
It may only take a cyber-criminal a few minutes to steal valuable business data, but it may take companies a few weeks to a few months before they detect and seal the breach. Exposed passwords, trade secrets, credit card numbers, and personal data may permanently harm a company’s brand and public image. Companies that experience major data breaches are liable for customer restitution lawsuits. These companies will most likely experience ruthless media treatment, closer regulatory scrutiny, and sudden drops in sales or stock values.
These risks may originate from within the company through disgruntled employees and hacktivists who leak emails and business correspondence. Information risks and the associated reputation damages are a board-level issue that deserve the same attention as to other risk management practices. The key is to drive enterprise-wide collaboration that institutionalizes security conversations into firm policies and practices. Accountability, transparency, and preemptive action are the keys to brand reputation protection.
Many technology experts flaunt the endless benefits of universal access across multiple platforms. Connectivity has never been so cheap and accessible for all to enjoy. However, they forget that supercharged connectivity empowers hackers and cyber-criminals to launch more dangerous apps and far-reaching malware. Global interconnectivity is essential for engaging consumers, managing brands, conducting business, and maintaining positive public relations, but it creates new digital assault opportunities.
Supercharged connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) have created new data supply chains around the world that are being attacked by sophisticated criminals who thrive on new vulnerabilities. Connectivity and information sharing developments often outpace cyber-security tools and standards, so business leaders must take proactive action to prevent malicious delinquents from targeting unprotected personal data, financial records, and reputation info. Strategic planning can be used to forecast risks and mitigate problems before they occur.
Back in 2016, CNBC declared that crime-as-a-service was one of the biggest cyber-security concerns. Clearly, this problem is only becoming worse because digital crimes are becoming more organized and commoditized. Criminal organizations are continually enhancing their ability to identify, steal, and share information. Cross-crime syndicate collaboration is a new headache for law enforcement agencies like the FBI. They state that their two major focuses are network intrusions and ransomware, which will only unlock valuable files after payment is received.
Crime-as-a-service is now a booming industry that is becoming saturated with sellers who understand all too well the awful opportunities available through their stolen data. Organized crime and highly trained cyber-criminal groups will use state-of-the-art offensive attacks, so companies must use top-of-the-line cybersecurity solutions. Skimping on the IT security budget is an unwise gamble that may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There are many more serious cyber-security issues that must be managed, such as social engineering and payment fraud. Executive involvement, IT system upgrades, employee awareness training, and robust technical prevention controls will minimize the above mentioned cyber-security problems.
Omni will help you design and implement a cyber security program for your company that focuses on security needs with an eye on regulatory compliance.