Authored by Garrett Datz | Senior Manager, Technology Advisory Services
The news surrounding cybersecurity this year has already been dizzying and there is little sign of it letting up. Take for instance these recent events:
- The SolarWinds hack that exposed thousands of companies, forcing a scramble to remove their popular monitoring tools from deployment.
- The Microsoft Exchange hack that affected tens of thousands of companies, demonstrating how quick and expansive these attacks can be and how difficult it is to keep up with vulnerabilities.
- The ransomware attack against Colonial Oil and JBS Meat, reinforcing just how expensive and disruptive these attacks can be for both businesses targeted and even their customers and global supply chains.
While cyber threats and cyberattacks continue to increase, so does the fear, uncertainty, and disinformation (FUD) that often paralyzes decision-makers from taking necessary action.
The worst-case scenario: your business is struck with a cyber situation and left scrambling to remediate the aftermath, which can be costly (in every respect of the word) and disruptive to business operations and culture.
The best-case scenario: leaders proactively seek technology advisory and strategically integrate appropriate systems and tactics that protect their environments now and into the future, before an event takes place.
To help demystify the risk / exposure companies across all industries face, and alleviate some of the cyber fatigue that many organizations are experiencing, we’ve set out to:
- Help leaders understand the causes of cyber fatigue and how to address it
- Demonstrate how an external partner can help mitigate cyber risk
- Outline the steps required to defend against cyberattacks and related events
- Offer tips that will help you find the right cybersecurity partner
How Can My Organization Manage Cyber Fatigue?
As technology professionals, we have seen how the constant drumbeat of “security” can be exhausting to business executives and employees. Yet, avoiding the issue leads to complacent thinking and the delay of executing strategies that put an organization at even more risk. This is especially true if the proper security measures and defense mechanisms are not in place to foster trust and confidence across an organization while mitigating internal suspicion or aggressive restrictions.
All too often, even after a cyber event occurs within an organization, there are two common reactions:
- Denial: Leaders adopt the mindset that the crisis has been resolved and everything has been fixed, but fail or refuse to acknowledge that cyber-events are rarely one-time occurrences.
- Overcompensation: Leaders go into prevention mode and mobilize resources to address all security needs so that a similar event “never happens again.” Yet, same as in scenario one above, cyber-events can occur at any time, especially if individuals and organizations don’t know what to look for and aren’t prepared to respond when something does arise.
When any cyber event takes place, a cultural shift occurs as part of the aftermath. It’s unavoidable and understandable—instinctively, our guards go up and this fear can cause major disruption and make your organization vulnerable.
How Can an External Cybersecurity Partner Help Us Mitigate Risk?
The key is to engage a Technology Advisory professional that can help further define your cybersecurity objectives and collaboratively develop a right-size plan that will strengthen your organization’s overall cyber posture. This might include:
- Identifying pertinent weaknesses and implementing functional changes to enhance security
- Creating a tactical short- and long-term framework to modernize infrastructure
- Educating employees and users about threats and the infrastructure and defendable mechanisms to protect against such threats
- Implementing SaaS and cloud-based technologies to minimize your cyber threat surface
- Selecting products to better automate detection and analysis
- Supporting business leadership as the company navigates the necessary innovations and implements better business practices
- Cooperating with law enforcement or governing agencies based on your specific needs
- Uniting business goals with IT initiatives
- Creating a cohesive IT strategic plan
Don’t let fear—of an attack, infrastructure updates, financial costs, or of change in general—slow you down or put you at greater risk.
What Actions Can My Organization Take to Defend Against Cyberattacks?
Cybersecurity is a business problem, not just a technology problem because it affects every aspect of your daily operations both internally (like your employees) and externally (like your customers/clients). From independent entities to large corporations, no organization is resistant to potential harm. Therefore, leaders must have a strategy in place to defend against cyber threats, attacks, and digital breaches. While there is no way to completely eradicate such events, there are steps businesses can take to minimize exposure.
- Build Awareness: The internet and online world isn’t going anywhere, in fact, it continues to expand which only puts users at greater risk. As culprits become more stealthy in their exploits, cyberattacks are only getting more convoluted to navigate. Understand the types of threats that can harm your employees, customers, and your organization as a whole. From there, learn how to recognize and defend against them.
- Identify Internal Gaps: Oftentimes, a root cause of a cyberattack is antiquated systems or legacy IT infrastructure that can no longer be easily secured. While the business may be aware of this, the financial implication to update may prove more daunting. Learn more about assessing your organization’s cyber readiness and getting the advice you need to take informed action.
- Prepare: Develop and implement a strategy for ongoing education and training, partner with an external cybersecurity professional to advise on evolving needs and potential threats, and ensure the proper infrastructure is in place to keep your sensitive information, data, and systems secure.
These are the first steps towards elevating your cyber posture.
How Do I Find a Cybersecurity Partner With Expertise Aligned With My Business Needs?
Protecting your organization and maintaining cybersecurity compliance can often feel like a moving target—constantly changing and impossible to keep up with. Having expert insight from a trusted partner can help your business stay on track, secure, and up-to-date with rapidly evolving regulations and requirements, which can include things like:
- Legislative changes – protecting personal information
- Supply chain – delivering business continuity and data security certainty to customers
- Government agency changes – meeting regulatory requirements such as Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and compliant auditing
- Insurance – addressing the proactive demands from insurers before underwriting or
renewal in response to the rapid escalation of threats and payouts, especially post-event
The right partner will understand the impossible challenges associated with system and security upgrades and set you on the right path to improved cybersecurity. An experienced partner will also help drive a strategy to equip your organization with the best technologies and software to combat threats and maintain mutual confidence.
As part of your due diligence in selecting a technology advisory firm, we recommend that you ask the following questions:
- What experience do you have in the realm of cybersecurity?
- What types of cyberattacks have you helped remediate?
- How have you helped organizations recovery after an attack?
- What’s your approach to analyzing and diagnosing an organization’s cyber posture?
- What differentiates you from other technology advisory firms?
- How can you add value beyond the initial engagement?
The answers to these questions can assist your organization in making a confident decision.
Ready to Protect Your Organization From Cyberattacks?
Our vast experience supporting businesses through worst-case scenarios has provided front-line lessons that inform the best preventative and recovery initiatives. Let’s talk about your current concerns and challenges and how our Technology Advisors can help address them.