Cybersecurity: everyone’s concern

May 6th, 2019  by Bruno van Marsenille

Cybersecurity isn’t merely the concern of your IT department: it is everyone's business. Not only does it concern all levels of your decision-making, up to the highest level, it also concerns each and everyone of your employees. Not to mention your external partners, since your company is increasingly opening up to the outside world.

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In a recent study entitled ‘Risk Value 2018’, NTT Security assessed 1,800 companies’ cybersecurity policy. According to that global survey, nearly one third of Benelux companies are not well prepared for a cyber attack. Also, they most often fail to advance their prevention and preparedness policy. In fact, only 45% of Benelux respondents say they have established an IT security policy, i.e. 12% below the international average. And those same companies spend only 12% of their ICT budget on cybersecurity. And there’s more: 34% of companies in the Benelux say they would be prepared to pay a ransom if they fell victim to a cyber attack, such as a ransomware infection. In addition, the survey shows that the distribution sector is the least prepared for a cyber attack, followed by the transportation sector, the wholesale trade and the services industry. The telecoms, pharma, chemistry and technology industries are better protected.

Leadership required

At the global level, the study holds some other surprises. To begin with, only 19% of companies regard the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as the person who is ultimately responsible for IT security, whereas 22% refer this responsibility to the CIO and 20% to the CEO. This shows a great dilution of responsibilities and skills in IT security. And the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not help matters since a Data Protection Officer (DPO) has now also been added to the list of functions. And here’s another other disturbing survey result: barely 57% of organizations have a well-established security policy, while 26% are still working on it. Finally, only 39% of managers believe that their employees fully understand the security measures defined by their company.

Within your company, clear and effective leadership must therefore be established, especially since digital transformation requires a solid and secure foundation. It will be up to your CISO to define your IT security policy and to raise awareness for it among all your stakeholders: management, staff, business partners, etc. All the more so as with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud, social networks and mobile devices, new attack vectors are equally emerging. It is imperative that your security policies are embedded in your daily business and that data-centric incident management solutions are deployed throughout the life cycle of your data.

Cloud to the rescue

In addition, the cloud requires a clear view of the movement of your data, wherever it is, as well as measures to protect that data and specific procedures for incident management. However, along with the cloud we also see the emergence of managed security solutions that exploit the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify threats as quickly as possible and counter them with maximum effectiveness. This could well be an interesting solution to the glaring shortage of specialized security profiles.

Moreover, the cloud can present an immense potential for computational power and flexibility, enabling ultra-sophisticated algorithms that are capable of analyzing threats in real time, of modelling risks and of providing a quick response in case of attack. Similarly, the cloud can enable closer collaboration between security actors by sharing threat information (especially details on attack life cycles) and information on cyber criminals (including their most commonly used tactics, techniques and procedures).  This is notably the mission of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) and its project Adversary PlayBooks.

Collaboration: the way to go

More than ever, collaboration seems the right way to fight cybercrime effectively. Collaboration not only between departments within your company (transparency is without a doubt the best approach in case of attack), but also collaboration with your technology partners.

As an IT specialist, Aprico Consultants helps organizations establish their ICT strategy and assists them in their digital transformation, in order to improve the performance, productivity and competitiveness of their business. We combine in-depth knowledge of various aspects of ICT with technology expertise and an end-to-end understanding of our clients' business processes.

Given that the cybersecurity market is particularly fragmented (even though a certain consolidation of the ecosystem is under way), the choice of a reliable and trusted technology partner is essential in your search for a sustainable and global ICT platform. In other words: a partner who is capable of not only selecting the most relevant offer, but also of deploying and maintaining it.

Aprico aims to help companies innovate and rethink their business processes by putting security at the centre of their strategic thinking. We share best practices, technologies and organizational models that allow your organization to open up to the outside world and to share information securely.

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