Establishing effective cybersecurity practices within your organisation is difficult.
However, your setup is just the first step in protecting your private information. Making all the right decisions today won’t keep you safe forever.
Even the most advanced cybersecurity measures eventually become obsolete as new cyberattacks are built. Organisations need to take a proactive approach to combating cyber threats if they expect to survive.
Technology evolves, so should its cybersecurity
If you launched your business ten years ago, or five years ago, or even two years ago, you wouldn’t be using the same computer today as you first started with. You would be using faster, more efficient machines. You would have new tools that are better equipped to deal with increasing volumes of data necessary for your business to grow. Even if you aren’t the kind of person to jump onto new technology as soon as it is launched, you would likely still have got at least one upgrade to replace an outdated model.
The tools you use for your cybersecurity become obsolete in the same way. New machines are invented with features old software doesn’t know how to protect. New software is developed that doesn’t sync with old machines.
With every new piece of technology you adopt, your processes need to match its needs. You can’t protect information stored in the cloud the same way you would protect information stored on floppy discs.
To let your infrastructure outpace your cybersecurity tools and processes is dangerous.
Nothing stays young forever, including software
Some aspects of your cybersecurity will be able to meet new threats relatively easily. For instance, if you use any subscription based protection, patches will be released regularly to ensure that the services you pay for are still effective. It remains up to you to install these patches when they are rolled out, but that’s less hassle than a cyberattack.
Updating your security software as soon as a new patch is available will protect you against common cyber threats that take advantage of known vulnerabilities. This might sound like a rookie mistake, but it is disturbingly common how often large companies fall victim to such exploitative attacks.
It was reported earlier this year that one in three successful breaches are caused by unpatched vulnerabilities. This includes some of the most famous and damaging cyberattacks on record, including Equifax, Uber and even the US Voter Registry.
A report by Tripwire published this year found that only 9% of companies patch their software immediately. To stay on top of your cybersecurity essentials, it’s wise to invest in a live monitoring dashboard that alerts you when your systems require new updates.
Cybersecurity isn’t just about tools
Even if all the tools you use to handle and protect your data are state-of-the-art, you could still fall victim to a data breach. It is common for hackers to avoid technology altogether and manipulate people instead.
Policies regarding cybersecurity can get complicated. Mistakes happen. Sometimes, when people slip up, someone is waiting to take advantage. A recent Proofpoint report found that 99% of cyberattacks rely on human interaction to work.
One of the most effective things you can do to keep your data safe is to properly educate your staff. Develop a security-first culture within your organisation. Support them with regular training that covers the essentials of safe data management and provides a firm grasp of the shifting digital landscape in which your business exists.
Best practices change to suit the way the cyber environment evolves. Every member of your team needs the education to observe and adapt to these changes.
Your cybersecurity needs change as your business grows
Every time a new device is added to your network, you need to be confident that it is covered by all the cybersecurity tools in your arsenal. As your business grows, you’ll hire new staff who need new machines, all of which need to be protected.
The way cybersecurity is implemented throughout the rest of your business is no different. Whenever you innovate, consider how effective your current processes will be in protecting your new and improved structure.
If you want your organisation to continue to grow, you must meet emerging needs. This means examining your growth for potential vulnerabilities and reviewing your cybersecurity strategy regularly.
Consistent revision is crucial to ensuring that your cybersecurity is as effective today as it was yesterday, the day before and six months ago. While constant checks are impractical, a live dashboard can show you, in real time, the way threats you face evolve and how quickly your processes can fall behind. It allows you to compare how you look today with developing digital trends.
No matter how perfect your cyber hygiene is right now, there is no guarantee you’ll be protected against the threats of tomorrow. The businesses most likely to survive a hostile environment in a constant state of flux are those most able to adapt to face it head on.