73% of businesses aren’t prepared to face cyber-security threats, according to Inc.com, but that’s not the saddest part of it all. What’s even worse is that the current threat landscape is ever evolving. Every day, hackers are working on new and craftier ways to circumvent the existing security protocols in place, and they are winning.
Although your business might be working to deal with the current cyber-security threats, it is never enough to only look at the current situation. Cyber-security isn’t a one-time thing. You will need to be on your toes to proactively prepare for threats before they can happen. While this will not be easy to achieve, the alternative of facing the repercussions of a cyber-breach isn’t inviting at all.
Here are some threats to expect in 2019 and how to keep your business ready to face them:
Three Threats to Expect In 2019
Of course, new threats seem to be showing up with time in 2019. While this list doesn’t exhaust the threats, it will give you a glimpse of what you might want to protect your business from. The risks include:
1. IoT Vulnerabilities
The idea of the interconnectivity of previously dumb devices is still something that is taking the world by surprise. For instance, people with manufacturing businesses can enjoy controlling machines using only a screen at the comfort of their home or offices. IoT devices streamline all business processes from site security to workplace safety.
Their biggest downside, however, is that most companies that produce IoT devices do so with the security of their devices as an afterthought. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks by cyber-criminals. Was a hacker to gain access to your routers and other IoT devices, there is no telling the kind of damage that they can cause. The best option for you is to invest in devices that are not only designed with security in mind but are manufactured by businesses that are ever ready to send security updates your way.
2. Geopolitical Risks
In the recent past, regions, and countries have been shifting their approach on data storage and privacy laws. A good example is the GDPR in Europe that is meant to beef up the privacy of EU citizens. Any business that wants to interact with these citizens, or holds their data, has to abide by the regulations or risk hefty fines.
To survive these new laws, you will need to consider where you are building your business from. More importantly, you will need to pay attention to how secure your data is regardless of whether you store it using third-party vendors or in-house. While geopolitical risks were once considered as a risk for the entire enterprise, the continuous introduction of such data security laws makes it a cyber-security concern.
3. Insider Threats
Often, businesses build walls around their data to protect it from external threats but forget about the danger that lies internally. Sadly, it only takes one disgruntled employee for you to face insider threat. While some might do it under the influence of cyber-criminals, others might do so out of spite.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should remain forever insecure about the data that your workforce has access to since they need it in the first place. There are many ways to limit this risk. For instance, you should exercise a zero-trust security model through investing in access control tools. You should also consider creating policies on how to fire employees without risking the loss of your data.
Think Beyond Compliance
Compliance to the set regulations can never be synonymous to having a great cyber posture. First, regulators tend to take a lot of time before they are updated. For instance, the HIPAA was last updated in 2013 during the addition of the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule. What’s worse is that most of these rules are designed as a standard for the entire industry, but they do not touch on the complex parts of your business processes.
None of the rules outline how to deal with threats such as crypto jacking. By using such regulations as your cyber-security checklist, you limit yourself to the bare minimum-security requirements. The same will apply for what is seen as standard throughout your industry.
For an agile business that is growing at a high rate, it will never be enough to stick to the norm or to be held down by compliance requirements. Merely choosing to stick to the norm kills the creativity required to keep your business growing. Instead, you ought to search for a way to remain compliant while trying to break glass ceilings in terms of cyber-security and your business’ growth.
Have a Risk Management Plan
Guesswork will never help you build the right cyber-security posture. To truly protect your business against the ever-evolving threat landscape, you need to work with a risk management plan. Ideally, you will need to conduct some risk assessment to measure the potential impact of the security threats around your business.
This will allow you to rank threats according to the damage that they can expose your business to and allocate scarce resources to dealing with them. However, the only way your risk management plan will work is if everyone on your security team knows their role and commits to it. On the other hand, you will also need to keep on monitoring your plan and updating it concerning the evolving threat landscape.
Connect With Security Professionals
While some people think that new security threats might be too young to affect their business, the risks that the threats posed are quite high. For instance, if a hacker discovers a zero-day vulnerability in your business’ routers, it might be tough to deal with this threat, especially if only a few security professionals know how to counter it. By keeping in touch with the leading professionals in cyber-security, and remaining knowledgeable on the current security trends, it becomes easier to identify threats before they can happen.
You might need to attend seminars and participate in web forums to learn about the most recent advancements in cyber-security. Consider also updating your workforce’s training on security as well as networking with the most recognized names in the field. Simply put, any means that can help you gather more data on the changes in your threat landscape are welcome.
Spread Security Awareness Among Employees
Regardless of how well you try to protect your business from cyber threats, it might only take the mistake of a single employee to expose your business. 90% of cyber-security attacks start with human error. Something as minute as having employees open phishing emails can wreak havoc throughout your organization.
As a result, you need to place as much emphasis on employee security training as you do on investing in security tools. Everyone should understand how the security tools work, how to avoid phishing attack and the best practices for password management among other needs. It might also be wise to hire employees with some cyber-security background to make training easy. Ideally, having all hand on deck security wise limits the impact of potential threats while helping you stay ahead.
New security threats will come with time, but your business’ resilience in the face of risk will determine its sustainability. Furthermore, customers and investors are attracted to a business with an excellent security posture. Consider the tips above to poise your business for success.