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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it’s a reminder that we need to be vigilant about protecting our privacy and our business from possible cyber attacks.
This initiative is a joint effort between the US government and the technology industry to spread cybersecurity awareness.
This year’s theme is “Own it, secure it, protect it” which addresses personal accountability and security best practices to protect your devices. This is in response to the relentless attacks from hackers trying to steal our personal data.
How times have changed. 10 years ago, when I first became a CTO, cybersecurity was not a huge priority. At that time, just having a good password policy, regular patching and anti-virus was enough for most small to mid-sized companies. But as the cyber-attacks increased, cyber-security has to be top of mind for all CIO/CTOs.
Cybersecurity is so important now because we are more dependent on the internet than ever. Connected devices are being used in all aspects of most of our lives, just one breach of an unsecured device on a public network can cause hackers to access the personal data of thousands of people.
Here are 5 important concerns of cybersecurity today:
Data privacy has moved to the fore-front. With new privacy regulation – GDPR and CCPA for example, companies have to take data privacy seriously. The fines levied are serious and the table stakes have been raised.
2. Ransomware & Crypto-currency
Hackers have found ransomware to be very profitable because companies and public institutions are paying up. This summer, Lake City Florida agreed to pay nearly $600,000 US (42 bitcoins) to a hackers to get your data from hackers. Hackers often request payment by crypto-currency because of its anonymity.
3. Using Software as a service (SAAS)
The proliferation of SAAS tools has caused your data to be mobile and divided between physical, virtual/cloud assets across various CSPs and in various forms. This increased the ‘surface area’ of an attack. Any department that uploads data to third-party software must ensure that the software is secure. Otherwise they can add a security risk without the IT team knowing about it.
4. Every IP address can be a door
The advent of IoT (Internet of things) which connects all devices increases the number of devices that can be hacked. In 2017, hackers used an internet connected fish tank hack into a North American casino. Customers should take advantage of any security protection their IoT product offers.
5. Vendor security management
Large companies have realized they are only as secure as their third-party vendors. So, the millions they spend on cybersecurity could be for nothing if their unsecured vendor is hacked. Take the Ticketmaster example where they suffered a data breach when their customer support software got infected with malware. It’s important to verify the security of the third-party vendors that you use.
Cybersecurity is more important than ever and have led to a larger focus on cyber-security at all companies. At ESHA IT we realize that not all companies may have the resources, expertise or budget to tackle all these issues. We can help you develop a security strategy so that you don’t fall victim to a cyber-crime. We qualify as your cybersecurity partner and also commiserate with you on how tough life has gotten for your company and the CTO.