How Exposed Is Your Business to Cyberattacks?| By |Craig Sherwood

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Taking measures to safeguard against cyberattacks is like taking daily vitamins: everyone knows they should, but often neglect this important part of staying digitally (or physically) healthy. One of the single largest challenges facing businesses today is the fact that the evolution of technology has far outpaced the development of and investment in security measures. Too many times we’ve seen organizations who thought “that won’t happen to us” reach out to CyberSearch in crisis mode.

Instead of dealing with the fallout and aftermath of a massive breach, it’s necessary to be proactive and take stock of current operations while preventative measures are still an option. Let’s take a look at common cybersecurity threats and real-world examples that showcase how two of our clients identified and safeguarded against vulnerabilities.

Many Challenges Exist

In 2017, the biggest challenge of cybersecurity is that there are so many methods and avenues for attacks. Most notably, ransomware has been exploding in prevalence and severity, costing businesses an estimated $1 billion last year. The recent WannaCry attack underscored this trend, as it not only affected hundreds of thousands machines in 150 countries, but didn’t even require human interaction to infect machines. Outside of ransomware, there are vulnerabilities present in cloud, Internet of Things, and other technological advancements currently relied upon by countless organizations.

Google the words “credit card breach” each week and you’ll find yet another notable company (and its customers) falling victim to cyberattack. In the last few days alone, both Kmart and Chipotle have been hit, compromising credit card information. One of our clients, a national grocery chain, recognized the prevalence of such attacks and decided to take action. They knew securing their customers’ sensitive data needed to become a top priority.

In another example, a global technology company approached CyberSearch to assist with securing their cloud and migrating thousands of applications. This client understood the importance of risk assessment and that their customers expected a safe experience when transmitting data. In both examples, the mentality of being proactive is the underlying and essential mentality for successful safeguarding against cyberthreat. Without proactivity, any business will be significantly exposed.

Strategic Approaches Can Work

When cybersecurity becomes a priority before any attacks have taken place, appropriate measures can be taken to render future attacks fruitless. A multi-pronged approach is almost always necessary, even when focusing on one specific vulnerability. In the case of our grocery chain client, CyberSearch first conducted an in-depth threat and vulnerability assessment to determine weak points in the system that housed any consumer credit card information. Secondly, extensive testing was carried out at a highly-granular level by a team of experts deployed at different locations across the U.S.

For our technology company client, CyberSearch supplied a highly-experienced cloud security consultant to assess the risk of the current enterprise cloud environment and discover potential vulnerabilities. This was done by configuring a framework of cloud products for analysis, followed by creating automation on the back end. The client’s external groups had various needs to be taken into account, and the migrating of applications was monitored to look for potential points of attack.

Successful Results are Attainable

When challenges and vulnerabilities are taken into account and proactive measures are taken, an organization can drastically limit their amount of exposure to cyberthreat. For our first client, the successful testing of security protocols identified areas to implement stronger security measures that would better protect consumer credit card data. In the second example, we ultimately produced a fast and repeatable methodology for safe cloud migration and an approval process for hundreds of applications that would have otherwise been an insurmountable task to accomplish manually.

These two brief examples provide a great deal of direction for those looking to assess their vulnerability to cyberattacks. The most important action items for any organization are:

  • Be proactive – If you’re asking the question of how exposed your business is to cyberattacks, then you already have a good start. It’s critical to take that initial step and keep the momentum going by digging in deeper and analyzing your environment.
  • Form a plan – Every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all cybersecurity safeguard measure perfect for everyone. In the above examples, our clients were in specific industries with their own security pain points and regulations. With assistance from CyberSearch, they formed detailed plans that took the threat of successful cyberattacks to near zero.
  • Seek assistance – Cybersecurity expertise is essential to keeping your business safe. Knowing they didn’t have the knowledge on their own, our clients reached out to CyberSearch for help. Whether you look to hire an internal security expert or reach out to proven IT staffing consultants, it may be necessary to bring in outside help to successfully implement a cybersecurity plan.

How Exposed Is Your Business to Cyberattacks?

Determining what vulnerabilities are hidden in your organization’s infrastructure, software, platforms, or general operations is not easy, but it’s necessary for safeguarding against cyberattacks in 2017. Just like exercising and taking vitamins improve the human body, proactive cybersecurity measures are always the best way to keep your operations healthy.

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