June 5, 2017

Data security: Non-optional in today’s corporate world

Data security: Non-optional in today’s corporate world featured image

The uncertainty of the cyber threat environment can push companies to the limit – but that’s no excuse for lax protection.

Cyber security is a vital consideration today.

Cyber security is a vital consideration today.

Protecting data is one of the most important practices companies engage in today, which is pretty remarkable for a discipline with just a few decades of history behind it. Companies that ignore cyber security do so at their own peril, as a data loss event could have catastrophic repercussions.
Organizations of all types and sizes have to face the many challenges presented by today’s advanced IT systems, wealth of data and abundance of cyber-criminals. Information has value no matter where it comes from, and hackers may victimize any kind of firm at any time. Businesses that don’t have solid plans to maximize data protection may end up in serious trouble if and when they are targeted for data theft.
What’s holding companies back?
Many businesses today aren’t ready to deal with the threats of the digital environment. Information Management recently delved into data from a Trend Micro survey to figure out what’s stopping organizations from becoming more prepared. The sheer unpredictability of today’s threat landscape was the winning choice by far, with 20 percent of respondents explaining that they’re having issues dealing with the many surprises facing companies.
The report also indicated that there’s a new leading threat afflicting organizations: espionage. Powerful cyber attacks backed by governments could bring a whole new level of danger to the cyber security battlefield. Companies that have out-of-date defense strategies may be taken unaware by the powerful new attacks cooked up by state-sponsored hacking groups.
Information Management quoted Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes, who pointed out that a cyber attack from a government group could potentially breach a target that would be considered too strong for lesser hackers to breach. Organizations such as utilities and hospitals should have their collective guard up. Of course, if employees at these facilities aren’t aware of cyber risk already, less-sophisticated attack types could be sufficient to steal data.

State-sponsored hackers are a new twist on a classic threat.State-sponsored hackers are a new twist on a classic threat.

Taking the next steps
​Cyber security isn’t a field where leaders can throw their hands up in surrender. When an organization isn’t prepared, that company needs to pull itself together in a hurry. Business.com recently gave a few hints that can jump-start an effort to tighten up the defenses around a company’s data. For instance, IT and leadership personnel should make sure there are adequate strategies in place to protect systems such as email and cloud storage. These aren’t in the same risk category as payment-processing tech, but when they’re undefended, they can become weak points for crafty hackers.
Companies should also force to minimize unforced errors – firms may be unwittingly sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Business.com urged leaders to become more aware of who they are allowing into their systems. When third parties and employees gain too much system access, it opens up serious data risks. The source suggested using company-provided endpoints instead of workers’ own devices for data access. This might not be possible in all cases, but when it works, it adds another layer of defense.
Training on tap
As with any other mission-critical element of business today, achieving cyber security excellence calls for training. Fortunately, this is one of the subjects covered by MasteryTCN. With a selection of learning modules available, dealing with different elements of securing an organization’s valuable systems, leaders can outfit their teams – and themselves – with the information they need to resist the ever-present threat of a cyber attack.
The steps to countering and preventing data breaches will differ somewhat from one field to another, but with several courses available, leaders can choose one that matches their needs. Sometimes, a little extra awareness among staff members can be the element that prevents a cyber security situation from escalating, which is a vital consideration.

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