The biggest challenges facing Organziations
Cyber Security is becoming one of the biggest challenges for CIOs and IT leaders. This is not only a big challenge for the IT leadership, it is also becoming a major issue for businesses in general as well as individuals.
With an ever increasing global cyber security threat where 80% of the breaches have happened in just the last 2 years, it is becoming a huge challenge for organizations to keep such threats at bay. The credit reporting agency Equifax is the latest example of such a breach where 143 million records with privacy data including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and drivers licenses were compromised while Yahoo revealed a breach of over 1 billion accounts, exposing phone numbers and passwords.
In today’s day and age, unless you are working on a standalone device not connected to any network, security exposure is not a matter of “IF” but “WHEN” and that is why it is one of the biggest challenges facing all organizations and not just the IT leadership. So the question is, how does one protect the organization, its data and its assets from such serious threats which are termed as “cyber-crimes”?
The most obvious answer is to unplug your devices from the internet and operate in a silo. However, everyone knows that such an answer is totally unacceptable as well as impractical unless you are protecting extremely sensitive data that requires a highly controlled access and are willing to go through security measures that could only be compromised in a James Bond style operation. However, for most organizations, that is not possible for a number of reasons including cost and practicality.
As we move into this highly sophisticated cyber-crime age, the first step is to accept the fact that cyber-crime is a real and serious threat and that it can happen to anyone including you and your organization. Once we get over that hurdle, the leadership of the organizations will have to start taking this threat seriously by budgeting for cyber-crime prevention and regularly educating the employees on the threats and its preventions. The onus is on the leadership to emphasize the seriousness of the threat and must hold their IT leadership responsible and accountable for the security of their data and their customer data by providing them full support, both monetary and administrative.
Addressing such a challenge is not easy given that the weakest link is any weakly configured device or any user in your organization who can cause a breach by simply clicking on a link in an email. However, such threats can be minimized by taking a more holistic approach with the full support of the leadership. A multi-pronged approach includes the following:
Cyber-crime is here and is a huge threat to every person, organization and device that is connected to the internet. With the Internet of things, the weakest link to such threats is an individual or the weakest device connected to the internet. Once exposed, it can cause havoc to the infrastructure, its data and in turn to the lives of people whose data is compromised and exposed. Organizations will have to start taking such threats seriously and it MUST be pushed down from the top where the leader of the organization has to put cyber security on top of his/her list especially if his/her organization is storing privacy data.