We are all getting bombarded with data, privacy and GDPR-related emails daily, but are businesses still adequately addressing the importance of cyber security. In the past 12 months, 43% of UK businesses suffered a cyber breach, equating to a £9,260 financial cost for large businesses. Cyber attacks are now ranking in the top five risks to global stability. Furthermore, industry website Information-Management.com recently predicted that in 2019 the threat to data and systems from outside forces or internal sources will continue at pace, citing that most organisations still don’t feel confident in the ability to prevent cyberattacks.
As we approach a new year, it has never been more vital for organisations to ensure processes, systems and procedures are in place to protect against unauthorised access to data.
What challenges will we be facing in 2019?
Industry sources vary in their predictions for the primary data security concerns in 2019 but one thing is certain. As technology opens up even greater opportunities for automation, cross-boundary collaboration and competitive advantage through new capabilities, this is no time for businesses to rest on their laurels.
And what about GDPR? For many business the compliance deadline in May 2018 came and went with less impact that expected. However, we predict that the true impact of this legislation has yet to be felt and for unprepared businesses there is still potentially pain to come.
There is also still a question mark over the cloud. As more and more business move their structured and unstructured data into cloud environments, driven by the speed and cost efficiency gains it promises, businesses should be putting renewed focus on the fundamentals of good information management housekeeping. Automated back-up alone isn’t enough to protect a business under threat.
Similarly, as new technologies like IoT and Blockchain are being increasingly deployed, is enough thought being given to the security risks and potential consequences of not having a sound information management strategy in place. Time taken to consider and address this before the technology is implemented helps to ensure that the myriad of gains it promises can be effectively realised and chinks aren’t exposed in the organisational ‘suit of armour’.
So, what can be done differently in the coming year?
There are many ways that an organisation can recheck cyber security measures and adopt new practices and processes to ensure that they can continue to outpace the competition securely with full compliance.
1. Take a deep dive into your organisation’s security strategy
Addressing the growing necessity for a clear and formal protection plan will outweigh the rise of cyber-attacks, particularly if managed on time! Due to ever-evolving risks within security and threats advancing more quickly than organisations can keep up, having full control over your information is a difficult challenge today. The need to be fully prepared to respond to foreseeable cyber incidents and protect your organisation’s “crown jewels” is essential.
The key focus is to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information within the organisation. Carrying out cyber risk assessments is a must for every business, especially if you hold personal data. Identification of these threats and risks will aid in the development of best practices to tackle the attacks if they do occur in the future.
2. Focus on achieving accredited certifications for standards such as the ISO27001
The volume and complexity of information being created and stored within businesses is growing faster than ever. Therefore working towards and achieving standards like ISO 27001 not only seeks to apply structure, but will also benefit your organisation by ensuring you:
- Avoid data breaches
- Protect and enhance your reputation
- Safeguard your data and intellectual property
- Increase business, legal and regulatory compliance
3. Use your information to fuel competitive advantage
Organisations need to mitigate risk and transform information into insight to fuel competitive advantage whilst keeping data secure. We all know the catastrophic consequences of a data breach and the impact to the organisation, so why not use this as an opportunity and take a step now?
In-Form Consult can provide support with health checks and risk assessments as well as work collaboratively with your organisation to help you identify the ways to achieve fast resolutions and time to value.
As you consider how prepared your business is to meet the new and continued cyber security threats in 2019, be reassured that you are not alone! Businesses large and small across all sectors are grappling with how to stay one step ahead of cyber-threat without losing the ability to use their information as a competitive asset. If you are considering how to address your challenges, please get in touch to find out more about how we can help you achieve your information security goals.