A new year has arrived and how will things change this year as far as cybersecurity is concerned? An analysis of data on cyberattacks in 2020 might point to some answers.
In 2020, as in the years before, businesses that were distracted didn’t prioritize cybersecurity and didn’t invest in sensitizing employees on various aspects of cybersecurity were targeted. Hackers were studying such businesses for a while and when the pandemic arrived, they got a break they were waiting for. The shift in network environments, remote access, and devices operating out of unmonitored environments and a high sense of distraction gave the hackers what they wanted – an opportunity to strike.
So how do you work towards staying secure in 2021? Here are 5 cost-effective ways of doing that:
Develop in-house expertise: identify employees across departments who will champion cybersecurity.
Visualize and drill extreme scenarios: even a moderate cyberattack can cause significant monetary losses. Conduct cybersecurity drills regularly across departments. Such drills should start/end by painting a bleak scenario of how bad things will be if a cyberattack succeeds. This includes loss of clients, potential revenue, hardware, and yes jobs too. Employees should be sensitized about these losses.
Set a budget aside for recovering from cyberattacks: in case this budget is not used, it can be disbursed as an increment or a bonus among employees at the end of a calendar/fiscal year or it can be rolled over into the next year.
Promote a culture of cyber hygiene: reward employees who report phishing or other types of attacks.
Sacrifice comfort for security: storing passwords, use of default passwords and other practices should be banned, and repeat offenders should be made to undergo a deep course in cybersecurity.
Take small but visible steps with discipline: your organization won’t turn into a cybersecure one overnight. Invest in bringing in a culture of cybersecurity backed by a strong commitment from all levels working together to realize small yet important steps towards cybersecurity.
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Prayukth K V has been actively involved in productizing and promoting cross eco-system collaboration in the emerging tech and cybersecurity domains for over a decade. A marketer by profession and a published author, he has also proposed and promoted critical infrastructure protection strategies that rely on in-depth threat research and deflection strategies to deceive hackers and malware. Having been at the frontlines of cyber securing infrastructure, Prayukth has seen cyberattacks and defence tactics at close quarters.