5 reasons why IT security and Governance ought to be a top priority in 2020-21
Data is the new biggest thing in the world of business, and digital is the king.
16:26 13 August 2020
Today, more and more organizations are moving to digital platforms for a host of reasons, right from saving and exchanging data and information, to interactions and meetings.
While this surely has helped make organizations more efficient, it also has resulted in the increasing need for effective data security. After all, if sensitive information falls into the wrong hands, the data breach can be severely damaging to both the company and its customers.
This problem doesn’t just affect large scale industries. No matter the niche, type or size of business, cybercrime can target just about anyone. What’s more concerning is that with a plethora of information available online, the hacker doesn’t need to be a professional anymore. Hence, it goes without saying that adoption of IT security and governance, in the form of awareness, training and certification should be the a priority for the well-being of all types of companies, as digital transformation is coming to every industry.
In this blog, we’ve focused on the reasons regarding why IT security and governance is the need of the hour.
Shocking Cybercrime Statistics
Many times, companies don’t take cyberattacks seriously, assuming they are immune to such attacks. However, that is far from the truth. Look at the statistics mentioned below:
- 69% of companies reported that their anti-virus software was unable to block the cyberattack their company faced
- The average cost of ransomware attack on businesses was $133,000 every month
- 34% of data breaches are caused due to internal factors
- 92% of malware an average company receives comes from emails
The Most Common IT Threats
Before we go into the specificity of why IT security is crucial, let’s first understand what are the most common threats and cyberattacks businesses usually face.
A form of computer virus, Adware fills a computer with advertisements and spam, making it almost impossible to do any work. This is one of the most common types of cyberattacks. Adware often acts as the gateway to allow other viruses in your company once you’ve accidentally clicked on an advertisement.
As the name suggests, Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to withhold access to the owner of the device or computer system, till a sum of money is given. The hackers try to attack those systems with ransomware wherein a lot of sensitive and time-crucial data is saved.
A form of a cyber infection, spyware is used to spy on a computer to gain access to sensitive data and track the actions conducted. This information is sent to the cybercriminal.
By adopting proper and effective IT security and governance measures, they can easily prevent these types of attacks from occurring. This ensures that any sensitive information remains private and confidential.
Benefits of Adopting IT security and Governance Measures
1. Predict Cyber Threats
As more businesses move from papers and pens to computers, there are a host of different security challenges that businesses need to tackle. By integrating and adopting IT security measures and techniques, you will have the insight and intelligence required to identify and prepare for any potential threats. For example, you will know that digital documents like personal identifying information and intellectual properties, are attractive targets of cybercriminals and need extra security.
Moreover, you will have the foresight to differentiate between business networks that contain sensitive data and networks that don’t have any sensitive data. This will help you predict that in the event of a potential cyberattack, where you should direct all your forces and which network you need to focus on protecting.
2. Block Cyber Threats
By integrating a strong IT security plan, you will be able to prevent and block various cyber threats from getting into your IT systems. These threats especially include emails as more businesses are moving from snail mails to emails, which are highly prone to fraud.
The most common fraud is spoofed emails of CEOs that appear that they come from legitimate CEOs, but are in fact sent from attackers. This tactic has tricked a number of finance personnel worldwide to get employees to release corporate funds to spammers. This is called Business Email Compromise (BEC).
In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a public alert warning in 2018 for businesses informing them at the rise in BEC, which, at the time, had already targeted over 78,000 businesses across the globe and had caused a total loss of over $12 billion.
Preventing BEC attacks is fairly simple as all you need is an email filtering system, which blocks emails with extensions that are similar to the company email. For example, BEC attacks work by making small alterations to a legitimate email address. So, if the real email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the attacker will use something like john.kelly@abc_company.com. While a person would ideally miss this difference very easily, the email filtering system on the other hand, will flag the spoof email address even if there is a slight difference.
3. Detect Cyber Threats & Respond
Simply implementing predictive and blocking IT security measures aren’t enough as cybercriminals have become advanced and creative. Hence, no matter how effective your predictive and blocking measures are, there is a huge possibility that an anomaly may happen. This will easily allow a hacker or attacker to get insight into your organization’s network.
According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report published in 2018, illegal remote point-of-sale (POS) intrusions are often caused in the food and accommodation service industry. Moreover, these cases were often not discovered for months in 96% of cases. In fact, in most of these cases, the businesses didn’t even know they had suffered from an attack till they were informed by law enforcement or through Common Point of Purchase (CPP).
Even a giant like Tesla wasn’t spared from these attacks. The tech giant’s computers were being used to mine cryptocurrency illegally. This operation went on for a while, after which Tesla finally came to know about the breach after RedLock discovered it and reported back.
On the other hand, if Tesla would have used advanced IT security measures like RedLock, they would have detected the illegal cryptocurrency mining by monitoring network traffic and correlated it with configuration data.
4. IT Security Measures Save Money
By implementing effective cybersecurity and IT security measures, companies can save an enormous amount of funds. In fact, the Cost of Data Breach study found that in 2018 Canada had the highest data breach direct costs at $81 as per the record.
The report further went on to state that the highest expenses that companies had to bear after undergoing a cyberattack include engaging forensic experts, hiring law firms, or offering victims identity protection services. Additionally, companies also have to spend a considerable amount of funds in detection and escalation costs, assessment and audit services, crisis team management, and communications to executive management and board of directors.
5. Protects Your Employees
One of the biggest advantages of implementing effective IT security and governance measures is that it provides your employees with a peace of mind to browse the internet as and when they need, while not worrying about potential threats.
Many companies don’t realise the impact vulnerability has on an employees’ motivation and loyalty. This is because the virus is able to obtain personal information of an employee and can sell that information or use it for stealing from the individual.
Moreover, if there is a virus attack on your employees’ computers, it can slow down the speed of the computer and make working on them practically impossible. This resulted in a lot of wasted time for your employees.
It goes without saying that companies must empower themselves with strong, safe data security protocols and practices before it is too late. After all, a stitch in time saves nine!