October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and although it’s an American initiative, there’s no reason why South African businesses can’t acknowledge and adopt its practices.
NCSAM 2018 exists to remind all Internet users about the subject of online safety and the fact that it’s a shared responsibility among digital citizens. NCSAM 2018 also aims to signify the importance of building a strong cybersecurity workforce.
Technological advances in Africa have provided citizens with more access to the Internet. And this brings with it an increased risk of cybercrime attacks. This makes cybersecurity a national imperative, one that can only be addressed through a coordinated and holistic approach.
Creating awareness and forcing people to act is the biggest challenge in today’s society. Usually, organisations will only enforce stringent measures when they have been exposed to security problems. The earlier the education starts, the stronger the effects on a user’s Internet behaviour. This month presents us with the perfect opportunity for people and businesses to learn about the tools and resources needed to stay safe online.
Risk identification and a response plan
- Identify what needs to get measured and connect the data points.
- Find attack patterns or any other traffic trends that might suggest imminent risks.
- Identify the greatest threats facing the organisation and integrate these insights into your incident response strategy.
- Focus on the most critical areas by taking a close look at the people, processes and technology domains when performing a risk assessment.
- Talk to people in your organisation who handle sensitive data, they know where the vulnerabilities lie. But don’t stop there, consider hiring a third party to do an assessment of your environment.
No matter how well protected an organisation might be, you should anticipate a cyberattack at some point in the future. Draw up worst-case scenarios along with an updated incident response plan. This is essentially a strategy for assessing, managing and containing data breaches, including the steps and actions your staff, especially your response team, should take if there’s a breach. This requires strategies to be implemented that will contain and remedy data breaches or to ensure you have the capability to implement these strategies as a matter of priority. The best way to defend your IT infrastructure is to implement certain cybersecurity solutions and have a dedicated team in place ensure your resilience.
None of this will be a priority if members of top management aren’t on board. So their buy-in is essential. Top management needs to understand the potential range of risks that might threaten the company’s reputation, finances and operational performance. The management of cyber risks should be a central component of any organisation’s governance processes.
Protect everything on your network
It’s imperative that you secure your network with best of breed technologies and against the most critical attack vectors – Perimeter, Mail, Web, End Point, Server, Wi-Fi and the Insider Threat / Social Engineering. Hackers are constantly evolving to find new vulnerabilities to exploit. As a result, it is up to us to continuously improve and fine tune our security infrastructure to protect your network.
But don’t wait until Cybersecurity Month each year to focus on safeguarding your IT environment. Make sure that it’s an ongoing commitment and investment. Gain advanced cybersecurity insights on how to protect your business by downloading our global threat intelligence report