The current rate of cyber-attacks in the United States is steadily on the rise, with leading experts in the field of Information Security, forecasting a massive cyber security breach in the near future. A breach of this caliber would put sensitive information at risk and indefinitely provoke severe damage to current defense practices. More than ever, it’s imperative to be prepared, and have a defense strategy in place. Any business, regardless of size, would be taking an extreme risk to their data, employees and future if the necessary precautions are not put into place.
Why it’s important
The monumental damage caused by a security breach can be astounding, as we have seen from high-profile leaks across the globe, from Marriott to Yahoo and even the GOP. When developing a strategy, you must be able to properly assess the amount of overall damage that your business individually could suffer. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” strategy. With new legislation on the table including New York’s SHIELD Act, or California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, AB 375 (similar to the European General Data Protection Regulations) going into effect in 2020, businesses of all sizes must work to reach or maintain compliance and avoid security leaks at all costs.
Build A Strategy
When it comes to developing a cybersecurity strategy, there are 5 key questions we must consider:
The biggest takeaway to keep in mind, is the risk. Risk is directly associated with the potential amount of damage that an attacker could inflict with your customers’ data. Image is also a huge topic of interest to your company due to negligence or noncompliance. The perception alone of an insecure network can do as much damage to a brand and or company as a legitimate security breach.
Many small businesses underestimate the sheer amount of information that they have in their possession. These businesses will further struggle in coming years as the push to convert to cloud-computing is only adding to the complexity of properly securing sensitive information. The more these companies are using cloud-based services to record transactions, financial data, personal preferences, search histories and medical records, the more serious a security breach will be.
Reaching and Maintaining Compliance
A single gap in coverage can bring down even the largest and most powerful of companies. Once a consumer loses trust of the company they are working with, it is next to Impossible to regain it. With this in mind, companies of all sizes need to take the necessary steps to not only be compliant with legislation, but also be proactive in developing systems that can defend themselves from claims of negligence.
Small businesses take center stage in regulations such as SHIELD and CCPA. With legislation like these becoming more commonplace, a lack of resources and education could become a serious issue. Since having an online presence and customer database is essentially required for any business today, many smaller operations either do not have the available resources to become compliant, and many are unaware that their business would require changes due to new regulations.
So, options? What can an organization do if they don't currently have a cybersecurity strategy or do not have an in-house team? There’re many steps to take! First, remember the initial 5 questions! Then begin to focus on:
What needs are the most apparent?
What are the risks of a data breach for you?
What type of information are you collecting?
Who has access to client data?
Remember, one size does not fit all in the world of cybersecurity! Determining potential vulnerabilities is different for every business, and will vary in depth and detail depending on the type, quantity, and security of information that is associated with the business. Regardless of the scope of industry, size or revenue, a cyber security strategy is absolutely required in 2019. The freer information flows across the digital landscape, the more vulnerable we become to cyberattacks. We create vulnerabilities which entail makes more stringent regulations. Businesses and organizations will need all the help they can get to ensure data security and compliance with future regulations in 2019 and the years ahead.
LACyber is a division of Lincoln Archives providing comprehensive Data Breach Defense Services. Lincoln Archives and LACyber are proud to be a part of Lincoln Family of Companies serving the Western New York Community since 1914.