Cyberattacks: Not if, but when!
“Customer data needs to be ferociously protected, every device on the network needs to be integrity-ensured, and intellectual property and critical data must be secured up and down the supply chain. Security leaders have to be prepared, and there are a few tried and true ways to get this done. CIOs need to be arming their companies with defenses that will detect, protect, and respond to cyber incidences with more intelligence than ever before.” –Bret Arsenault, Microsoft CISO, Microsoft CIO Summit
Microsoft recently held their annual invitation-only CIO Summit. One of the sessions on cybersecurity had some cogent advice for companies who want to be proactive with their cybersecurity. Bret Arsenault, Microsoft’s Chief Information Security Officer, was one of the event speakers. Arsenault offered some helpful cybersecurity insights, and revealed some of how Microsoft approaches its own protection against cyberattacks and how organizations can take these same principles and re-purpose them for their own companies.Microsoft, for example, has developed its core cybersecurity principles around the following:
- Protect customer data
- Ensure device integrity
- Protect the supply chain
- Protect our intellectual property
By being clear around what your own cyber protection principles are, you can develop a proactive cybersecurity policy, instead of being reactionary to cybersecurity threats. Cyber attacks and cyber security breaches are happening for two age-old reasons and one new reason. Cybersecurity plans should, therefore, take these following threats into account when assembling a protect and detect plan:
- Criminal – This is an old reason. They’re motivated by financial reasons and 80% of criminal cyber security breaches originate from outside of an organization’s firewall.
- Espionage – Also an old reason, but still a significant threat. Focused primarily on intellectual property (IP) theft, 76% of these cases are happening inside of the company firewall.
- “Hacktivism” – This is the new threat and it’s the most difficult one to wrestle with because they’re difficult to understand or anticipate, mainly because they’re often random and don’t have any motive other than to purely disrupt and cause havoc.
The take-away is that companies need to be proactive in their strategies of how to protect against the types of threats they can anticipate, monitor for and snuff out the random threats, and have a solid response plan. Once a breach has occurred, how well and swiftly can your IT team respond and recover? Email-born threats are obviously rampant but sometimes difficult to filter. It’s best to used advanced threat email filtering. Finally, 90% of cybersecurity threats and virus vulnerabilities can be thwarted with basic cyber hygiene:
- Patch your on-prem machines. Keep security patches up to date.
- Update your OS. Operating systems need to be updated to the most recent stable version.
- Use antivirus software. Despite recent improvements, use antivirus software. Iron Cove recommends ESET.
- Implement and use secure identity management.
- Implement and use cybersecurity monitoring technology.