Like humans, businesses also make mistakes. They might get away from some but will have to pay a hefty price for others. When it comes to cybersecurity, the margin for error is limited. One mistake can sink your business. Making cybersecurity mistakes not only makes your business more vulnerable to cyber attacks but also provides hackers an opportunity to go undetected.
We have already seen this in the Marriot Hotel Group data breach. Not only did hackers successfully steal data of 500 million customers but also went undetected for four years. In order to detect cybersecurity threats early, it is important that you identify the root cause and take action to minimize the damage before it is too late. For that, you should avoid making silly cybersecurity mistakes which makes a hacker’s job easier.
In this article, you will learn about common cybersecurity mistakes that allow hackers to get away after stealing your sensitive data.
As large-scale enterprises evolve and expand, they go through mergers and acquisitions. Even though it can be financially rewarding as it can boost your stock prices and enhance your capabilities but it can put your sensitive data at risk and increase complexity. Instead of integrating security controls, businesses keep their security systems isolated.
This gives hackers an opportunity to launch a cybersecurity attack and get away with sensitive business information. Due to the late detection of threats, businesses don’t even know that they have become a victim of a data breach for years to come. Marriott Hotel’s breach is the best example in that regard. Make it a habit to periodically evaluate your cybersecurity systems and risks. This will allow you to determine which data is sensitive and which one is not. When you start seeing your data from that angle, you can easily secure what’s important.
According to a small business cybersecurity report, only 52% of businesses have a cybersecurity strategy. Even if your company has one, there are chances that it might be ineffective when it comes to protecting you against all cybersecurity risks. Start off by aligning your IT and business goals. With regulations like GDPR enforced, it is important to develop security policies so you can collect, store and manage customer data securely. Do an in-depth risk assessment and create an asset inventory so you can prioritize your cybersecurity efforts in a much better way.
Establish an alert system that notifies you whenever it finds suspicious activity so you can react quickly to minimize the damage. Take preventive measures that allow you to keep cybersecurity risks at bay. Invest in employee training and development and make it an integral part of your cybersecurity strategy so your employees can assist you in implementing your cybersecurity strategy instead of becoming a hindrance.
According to the IBM and Ponemon Institute’s Third Annual Study on Cyber Resilient Organization, 76% of businesses admitted that they don’t have an incident response plan. Even if your business has an incident response plan, it is most probably flawed. A study conducted by Netwrix reveals that 83% of organizations are not sure whether their incident response plan might work on not in real life. What’s even worse is that only 17% of organizations test their incident response plans.
How can you respond to advanced cybersecurity attacks targeting your business in such a situation? If you don’t have an incident response plan, you should create one immediately. Here is a step by step process you can follow to create your own incident response plan.
If your business already has one, launch mock attacks to test its effectiveness. Make it an integral part of penetration testing. Tweak your incident response plan from time to time so it can handle future cybersecurity risks.
One of the biggest reasons why most cybersecurity initiatives fail is little to no support from top management. Since strategic direction and resources come from the top, it is important to get CEO, board members and top-level executive onboard otherwise, your cybersecurity efforts will not bear any fruit.
On the contrary, if the CEO and top-level executives buy into cybersecurity and are on the same page as CISOs, then you are more likely to succeed. You will not only get the resources required to meet your staffing and technology needs but can also prioritize and respond to emerging cybersecurity threats in an efficient manner.
Last but certainly not least is the lack of accountability. Complex organizational hierarchies pave the way for poor visibility and lay the foundation for poor accountability. Equifax data breach is a great example in this regard. The complex IT management structure acted as an obstacle and prevented Equifax from implementing cybersecurity initiatives on time.
Due to this, more than 300 security certificates expired, which made the data breach possible in the first place. It is highly recommended that you dedicated a resource solely for developing and implementing information security policies. CISO must clearly assign roles to team members and hold them accountable for their actions.
Which is the biggest cybersecurity mistake you have ever made which allowed hackers an easy pass? Let us know in the comments section below.