What the Latest Cybersecurity Report Means for Safeguarding Your Business
by Ed Daugherty
March 5, 2019
Data breaches, ransomware attacks, and crashing systems are constants in the IT industry, leaving many to take a hard look at their own cybersecurity safeguards. These types of incidents spurred Ponemon, an independent information security research center, to conduct a study of over 600 cybersecurity leaders and professionals. While the report contains a multitude of statistics, let’s focus on the most significant findings and investigate what they mean for cybersecurity in your business.
67% are not confident that their organization can avoid a data breach
While it may be slightly comforting to know you’re not alone in worrying about cybersecurity, it does nothing to stop a breach or attack. Gaining confidence in this area will require time, money, and talent, but it all begins with a multifaceted plan.
What’s your current state of IT security, and which specific areas cause you the most concern? Is an out-of-date or unpatched program making you vulnerable? Is the way your company stores data questionable? Does your cloud, network, or infrastructure leave potential back doors open? Pinpointing answers to these questions helps to focus on the most pressing issues first while creating a larger, long-term plan.
61% don’t realize the business impact of a breach
Technology moves so quickly that many can’t keep up. New innovations are created, released, and adopted by businesses before understanding the full implications and possible unintended consequences. As a result, the majority of cybersecurity leaders and professionals are concerned about their inability to predict which assets could be compromised.
Just think about the billions of IoT devices in existence, all connected to the internet and potentially vulnerable to attack. Consider AI and machine learning, which are being adopted quickly while still in relative infancy. What might an AI-powered function in your business look like in three years compared to today? It takes proactive risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and better anticipate where breaches and cyberattacks could originate as technology evolves. That, combined with understanding how a business will be impacted as a result of a breach, is how they can be prevented.
60% say there’s not enough visibility across their IT assets
While this statistic speaks to the need to better manage IT across a business, when looked at with a wider perspective, it really comes down to improving corporate transparency. Is there clear communication across all of your company’s stakeholders, including internal staff as well as customers and clients? Unfortunately, 71% of survey respondents say senior management does not communicate risk goals clearly, while only 9% find that security teams are highly effective in communicating security risks to the c-suite.
Your business has to be on the same page internally before it can transparently communicate cybersecurity practices externally. In 2019, people are more conscious of their personal data than ever. They know their information is valuable, and trust companies to store their phone numbers, addresses, credit cards, and social security numbers safely and privately. Take a page from Europe’s new data privacy regulations while implementing your internal procedures and make sure you’re being clear about how you use personal data. The internet is no longer the lawless wild west it once was. Getting transparent about your cybersecurity practices means nobody has to wonder if you’re hiding something.
68% feel their current staff is not adequate for achieving strong cybersecurity
In order to get your business on the right side of all these statistics, you need specialized cybersecurity talent. The difficulty is that, as a niche within an already in-demand industry, cybersecurity has a 0% unemployment rate. Such a stark talent shortage creates a hiring problem, and it’s why a majority of companies say they don’t have the time or resources to mitigate vulnerabilities. They can’t even act on known problems and alerts because they are shorthanded.
Preventing and responding to cybersecurity concerns in agile ways rather than reacting to only the most flagrant cases requires talent, and landing that talent requires new recruiting strategies. Since nearly all cybersecurity professionals are currently employed, you have to consider what it will take to encourage someone to leave their job for a new one. Outside of a competitive salary, that likely includes promoting work-life balance, creating a contagious culture, and rethinking your digital presence and branding. However, when there’s simply no time to rethink or follow each step of your recruiting process, partnering with a proven, transparent staffing firm can secure the cybersecurity talent you need.
Cybersecurity Safeguards for Your Business
Ponemon’s extensive study highlights an urgent need for cybersecurity improvement, as well as showing how far away so many businesses are from achieving truly safe operations. It can be overwhelming to read such a report and consider overhauling your own practices, but cybersecurity just isn’t a function that can be implemented halfheartedly. After all, when one breach is enough to ruin the reputation of a business, it’s not an area that can be left to chance.
When you need the right cybersecurity talent delivered to your door, reach out to IntellaPro.