The last year has paid witness to the exposure of some of the biggest flaws in the global cyber security environment. In this blog, John Smith looks at what business leaders can take away from this, and what trends we can expect to see going forward.
One key takeaway is that businesses are becoming increasingly interdependent on each other’s security – if one network goes down, many tend to follow. As a result, firms should make an effort to enforce tight security not just for themselves, but also with competitors.
This highlight on interdependency is an increasingly significant trend, affecting not only businesses. The development on the Internet of Things has resulted in multiple devices being connected across one network. However, many of these devices are not particularly secure, and a hack could result in “cascade effect”, resulting in harm to an entire network.
Something else to be observed from 2017 is the emergence of a shift in hackers’ attention from short-term data to long-term data. Short-term data, such as bank details, can be changed quickly, and as a result are useful to cyber criminals for less time. Long-term data, on the other hand, such as names, addresses and dates of birth, are being increasingly targeted.
Businesses have always been aware of the importance of protecting this data. However, recent events have meant that organisations are now much more informed as to how to deal with a data breach should the situation arise – they must accept that breaches will take place, but make it understood by customers that damage can be limited through improving systems and having a transparent post-breach protocol.
Yahoo learnt this the hard way: In 2013, they admitted that they were hacked and had account details of 1/3 of its members leaked. However, in 2017, it was revealed that all three billion accounts had been hacked and exposed. Without having a process in place for dealing with these situations, they were humiliated and no longer possess the trust of their members.
In conclusion, cyber security teams should be focusing on these themes for the year ahead. However, if progression is to take place across the businesses, it must be lead by C suite officers, who must be willing to collaborate with other business leaders in order to obtain security across their respective industries.