Cybersecurity continues to be a top-of-mind concern for companies in the wake of severe data breaches and evolving regulatory standards. To arm their workforce and deter potential cyber-attacks, many companies are implementing internal cybersecurity programs, often supported by external cybersecurity experts, to reinforce high security standards and empower their employees to thwart potential attacks from common vectors. Effective security is more than just the decision to implement a program, however; it takes a concerted effort and a cultural shift to completely change how your company understands cybersecurity and how seriously your employees internalize new security standards. Without the proper level of buy-in, your company’s program can be derailed before it even begins. Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid for companies looking to commit to outstanding cybersecurity for the long haul.
Depending on your business location and the industry in which you work, different regulatory standards and expectations will apply. Considering that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes effective in May of this year, global standards will have increasingly granular specifications and the frightening threat of heavy fines. Global regulation is likely to inspire local standards, such as the recently-implemented 23 NYCRR 500 regulations for New York State. Specific industries, particularly in the financial sector, will have their own regulatory expectations and responsibilities for safeguarding customer data and preventing breaches. While there are several universal principles underpinning a solid cybersecurity program, it’s imperative to go beyond the basics to understand your company’s specific requirements.
MISUNDERSTANDING RISK MANAGEMENT
Comprehensive risk management is pervasive. It’s one thing to simply create and approve a cybersecurity initiative; it’s an entirely different matter to comprehensively implement that initiative across departments and business processes. Proper risk management is an effort of constant vigilance against a polymorphic threat of cyber-attacks – in order to successfully protect your business from legal, corporate, fiscal and reputational threats, each of these potential attack vectors should be understood comprehensively. Thoroughly covering a wide range of threats and considering their theoretical scope of impact will ensure that your company doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. An important guiding principle to remember is that your risk management strategy is only as good as your weakest link: if all but one area is thoroughly protected, and the weakest area falls victim to a breach, all of your painstaking preparation will be for naught.
FAILING TO PLAN ACCORDINGLY
Comprehensive cybersecurity can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to plan and execute the process right from the outset. Substantial considerations for risk factors, relevant regulatory standards, training timelines and an implementation strategy are a must when the stakes are this high. Your company’s assets, reputation and sensitive business data are all potentially at risk, and breaches can be anything from minor inconveniences to million-dollar losses, all over the slightest slip up or lapse in security. It’s an intimidating process, but it will only become more important as modern businesses continue to rely upon and expand into newer technology, making them prime targets for malicious hackers.
Naturally, establishing a cybersecurity baseline standard can seem like a staggeringly vast task for any business. Well-executed cybersecurity isn’t easy for most businesses, so that’s why savvy companies of all sizes often outsource to trusted experts. Cybersecurity is a booming business because the demand for thorough, compliant security continues to expand rapidly. For businesses working with a partner, the service cost is significantly outweighed by two important factors: the peace of mind that data protection has been implemented in the context of an expertly-crafted program, and the ability to focus on revenue-generating projects while IT experts work with you to keep your data safe. Cyber threats aren’t going away any time soon, but with the help of experts in the field, your business will be safer.
Align’s subject matter experts leverage over three decades of experience, providing award-winning services and the highest standard of cybersecurity. Our experts span disciplines, providing an end-to-end cybersecurity solution designed to evolve with the regulatory environment and provide the best in cutting-edge technology. If you’re worried about your organization’s vulnerabilities, there’s never been a better time to enlist a trusted partner to guard against the latest threats.