You would probably be hard-pressed, in this era of constant data-breach news, to find someone in a C-suite who would say that he or she just didn’t care about cybersecurity. People in executive roles know that they need to be perceived by customers as hypervigilant about cybersecurity, and they hopefully also understand that data breaches are costly not just in terms of reputation but actual financial losses.
But though executives may consider cybersecurity a priority, they might not know exactly what making it a priority means. Which is to say, there is a gap between the saying and the doing; between the good intention and the technological investment. And even when investments in digital security are made, there can be a gap between the places where the money can best be used and where that money actually ends up going.
Hackers are smart. Really smart. And so enterprises need to be smart, and spend smart, in order to combat today’s threats. The following three tips will guide you toward getting your customers not to just think about digital security but thinking about it in the right way.
1. Calculate Risk to Build a Strategy (and a Network)
Risk management in cybersecurity is more than just a buzzword. Managing risk—focusing cybersecurity resources where attacks are most likely and building in safeguards so that even successful attacks don’t give hackers the keys to the entire castle, as it were—is hugely important for meeting the challenges of ever-more sophisticated and ever-more plentiful cybersecurity threats.
Doing an audit of an IT setup, complete with penetration testing, can help determine both possible points of entry and ways to reduce the potential severity of a data breach if a hacker evades the technology. Architecting a network that, by its very setup, prevents hackers from being able to easily access data or leapfrog through systems once they get in is money and time well spent.
2. Set Up Threat Intelligence—and Set Up Customers’ IT to React to It
Businesses can better react to cybersecurity threats when they know what’s coming. So it’s smart to have a good digital security intelligence platform in place. Such platforms inform businesses of emerging security threats targeting their specific geographic area, area of business, and so on. They analyze (and some even rate) the potential severity of a proliferating threat and offer IT professionals guidance on how to proceed.
For instance, if a particular app is used in one area of business and that app becomes vulnerable, a threat intelligence platform can give IT working at businesses in that area a heads-up so that they can restrict the app’s usage until a patch is available.
Encouraging customers to both set up a good intelligence platform and give their IT department the authority to act on it is helping your customers think smart.
3. Teach Your Customers to Teach Their End Users Well
The unfortunate and unavoidable truth about enterprise hacking is that a great deal of its success relies on end-user error. Everyone uses email in the office these days. And so phishing scams that act as a gateway into an enterprise’s entire IT setup can be easily aimed at the least aware, least tech-savvy people in the business. And the truth is, when it comes to choosing whether to click or not click on an interesting-looking link in an email, even the brightest and most careful computing professionals sometimes mess up.
So what can be done in order to keep your customers’ employees from making an easy mistake with the stakes so high? Various new solutions are now available that send out simulated phishing emails in order to teach users not to click through. Implementing such a solution, and following it up with meaningful, quantifiable training, can help get a customer’s entire enterprise thinking about digital security. And in today’s business world, that’s not just smart—it’s a necessity.
What smart digital security moves have your customers been making?