Building Cybersecurity Confidence Throughout 2017
Cybersecurity issues grow, not just yearly but daily, as we move into the middle of the twentyfirst century. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing with more devices connected than ever before. Naturally, the vulnerabilities have increased. Not only are we more connected overall, but the information we have within those connected devices could not be of more importance. Odds are the data in your phone represents every facet of your life, from your bank account numbers to your home address and beyond. Keeping this information secure from growing threats is difficult, and this growing knowledge has led to a notable downward trend in both consumer and business confidence in the ability of general cybersecurity. Having thorough cybersecurity awareness, in all facets of the devices and communications systems you have, can lead to better confidence; with knowledge comes capability and calmness.
With Increased Threats, Confidence has Lowered
In the business community in particular, the confidence you have in the security of your infrastructure is vital. Knowing that customer data and proprietary information are secure is the tenant of any well-run organization, but generally, the larger the organization, the more chance for vulnerability. A survey titled, "2017 Global Cybersecurity Assurance Report Card," demonstrated that overall, cybersecurity practitioner's confidence levels dropped six points to only 70%. The anxiety here is understandable, yet some relatively simple measures can be taken to reduce it.
Build Internal Support
Having a cybersecurity system in place, with a team and a process, can both lower the chance of threats affecting an organization, and also allow you to learn from them when they do occur. By documenting issues of the past, and collaborating on security with similar organizations in your industry, you grow and get to a better defensive position.
Collaborate with Industry Peers
While a defensive stance is good, moving toward a proactive stance is better. Don't be afraid to reach out and collaborate; a cyber-attack hitting an organization can uncover defenses and countermeasures for the next time that a similar effort unfolds. One recent industry survey found that only 55% of businesses pool resources with outside organizations. This number must grow. By taking the time and communicating, at both private and government levels, your organization can become better ingrained in the overall community working against cyber threats. Again, the more information and capability you have on your organization's side, the more confident you will feel.
Start with the fundamentals and grow from there; know what you are trying to protect, understand where and how threats are likely to evolve and come from, and begin to build a foundation for what your response will be. It won't be built in one day, but as the years go along, at some point an organization will realize the progress and promise of cybersecurity awareness. Confidence in any skill, especially one as complex as cybersecurity, is a step-by-step process, one helped by solid teams, great software systems and a plan for the years ahead.
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