Continuous Risk Management in Cybersecurity
There was a time when cybersecurity was as simple as network monitoring, anti-malware, and software deployment. But as cybercrime becomes commonplace, those days are long gone.
Today’s enterprise faces a risk landscape larger and more volatile than at any other point in history. Threat surfaces are massive and diverse, vulnerabilities are common, and criminals are more numerous than ever. Indeed, data breaches have become so common that it’s rare for one not to be in the news.
Some organizations have approached this new ecosystem simply by throwing more money at the problem. Unfortunately, this approach fails to account for the growing power of the end-user.
IT is no longer the sole gatekeeper of business enablement. Gone are the days of corporate-mandated tools. If a particular piece of software interferes with a user’s workflows, they’ll simply find one that doesn’t, regardless of the associated security risks.
More importantly, it assumes that the most prevalent cyber threats are sophisticated, and that advanced infrastructure and expensive tools are enough to protect against them. The reality is quite the opposite: According to a 2018 report, an estimated 93% of data breaches are the direct result of phishing, one of the simplest, most basic attacks possible
From this, it should be clear that employee education is a cornerstone of a good security posture. It’s essential to promote a cybersecurity culture within your organization, one in which every employee understands their responsibility and accountability in protecting corporate data—in short, where people careabout their role in keeping corporate assets safe.
Yet even this approach is incomplete, as it is based on a security model that’s both outmoded and outdated.
Traditional cybersecurity is reactive. It responds to and mitigates threats as they surface while trying to minimize the chance those threats will be an issue in the first place. Yet in an environment of constant change and evolution, this is insufficient.
What your business needs to do is approach cybersecurity from the perspective of continuous risk—analyze, predict, and prevent attacks before they even surface.
This approach requires some key tactics to be successful:
- More consistent vulnerability scanning and network monitoring: The more visibility you have into your infrastructure, the better your understanding of it; the better your understanding, the better your concept of potential threats
- AI-assisted cybersecurity: Although it’s still a relatively new technology, machine learning can be a powerful addition to your cybersecurity portfolio, helping you fill skill gaps and better predict developing threats
- More consistent audits and penetration testing: Periodic audits are no longer feasible, and while third-party analysis is still extremely valuable (and highly advisable), your business needs a risk management framework it can apply on a constant basis, which you can then augment with external expertise
In today’s threat landscape, it’s not a question of if your business will be targeted; it’s a question of when. Make that knowledge the core of your approach to cybersecurity.