In the context of the pandemic and escalating geopolitical concerns, a collaborative approach to cybersecurity and information security is essential for any organization.

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, the average overall cost of a data breach has reached $4.5 million. A depressing 83% of the 550 businesses IBM contacted who had had a data breach had also experienced multiple breaches over the same time period. In addition, the breaches where remote working was a factor increased the average cost by about $1 million. The highest average expenses to recover were reported by the healthcare sector. This was calculated to be over $10 million. Companies must prepare to devote more resources to cybersecurity projects if they want to avoid becoming a target.

Meanwhile, governments devote much attention to cybersecurity in the public market (US, EU, AU) as well as tech giants like Google, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft to the private market. In the U.S., a job-tracking database shows over 47,000 cybersecurity public sector job openings and almost 770,000 in the private sector. Salaries have continued to climb amid an overall shortage of skilled security specialists. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-moving sectors and will continue to grow at an enormous pace. The focus is on: Cloud security, Vulnerability of IoT, and GDPR compliance.

Why It Matters

It is critical that companies protect their information from data breaches, unauthorized access, and other security threats. The FBI Internet Crime Report revealed that $6.9B in losses were reported in 2021 (a 500% increase from $1.4B in 2017). Cyber vulnerabilities are the most critical risk area in the latest Gartner Hot Spots report.

Database Attacks

Enterprise databases, information storage infrastructures, and systems for guarding the prized possessions of an organization are all prone to a variety of abuses and attacks, especially when left weak due to subpar system design or configuration.

A new data breach brought on by improperly configured cloud databases or storage services occurs practically every week. The list of exposed information is endless and usually includes data on individuals with thousands of social media records exposed. 

Using public clouds, malicious actors often analyze IP addresses for weaknesses simply because they are not private. Don’t allow them access to your data by: 

  • Understanding the types of data you have, where it is stored, and implementing good infrastructure configuration and management practices. Many data breaches involved data storage that businesses were either unaware of or that had been haphazardly and insecurely constructed.
  • Realizing that some cloud databases and other data stores may be created with a default of being accessible via the internet and that it’s the responsibility of the service user to appropriately lock them down using methods like database firewalls. Establish procedures to make sure this is reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Ensuring that strong authentication is enabled by default for all databases and data storage. The lack of authentication makes it simple for many breaches to occur.
  • Implementing techniques to monitor the perimeter of your cloud for unsecured data services. Even if you currently feel completely protected, all it takes is one misplaced mouse click to make you vulnerable.

Security Life Cycle Software Development

Security is by no means a one-time development process. It should be a part of the Software Development Life Cycle and the development team’s routine. Executives as well as Engineers must stay vigilant and be aware of potential risks and business impacts. Preventing and continued monitoring of security issues can be a key solution for small and medium-sized organizations that don’t have the budget for a dedicated security specialist or a cybersecurity team.

Security is important, yet it can be daunting to implement. But there are ways to make it easier to apply with less stress and manageable costs.

  • The software development lifecycle (SDLC) is a process for planning, implementing, and maintaining software systems. There is no “security phase,” but rather a set of best practices and tools that should be included within the existing phases of the SDLC. To help coordinate software security processes development teams will need to leverage existing and proven security development strategy and methodology such as:
    • The OWASP Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM) is a robust model that provides clear guidance for integrating security practices into the software development process.
    • The NIST Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) is a set of fundamental secure software development practices. It breaks the SDLC into categories, each aimed at improving an organization’s software security posture. 
    • Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is a security assurance process that is focused on software development.
  • C-level leaders as well as Engineers must be aware of security breaches. Directors can no longer deny oversight of cybersecurity or simply delegate it to engineers. They must be knowledgeable leaders who prioritize cybersecurity and personally demonstrate their commitment. Their role is to make sure the organization has a plan and is as prepared as it can be. Leaders set the tone for prioritizing cybersecurity culture as well as reinforcing and representing attitudes, values, and beliefs which motivate cybersecurity behaviors.
  • Companies should evaluate their level of protection and risk tolerance before they engage in new investments. Re-active cybersecurity methods are focused on preventing ‘known’ issues. Pro-active cybersecurity strategy simply means constantly attempting to identify potential issues before they create major challenges for your business.
    • Penetration testing is a smart preventative security measure. This process identifies holes and security gaps in the application and the network.
    • Network and endpoint monitoring implies that your company is constantly looking for forthcoming threats. This method enables IT teams to identify and resolve issues that could have a significant impact on their business if left unchecked.
    • Cybersecurity training implies that your teams operate in line with the appropriate security standards. According to the IBM Threat Intelligence Index, human error is the main cause of 95% of cyber security breaches and 50% of victims click on targeted phishing campaigns.

The loss, compromise, or theft of a company’s data can obviously have a negative impact on a business, including the loss of customers and revenue. Cyber Insurance can assist in the timely remediation of cyber attacks and incidents. It is essential that businesses identify the weaknesses of their assets both in terms of personal data and key operational systems that should then be prioritized for security investment. Organizations should also regularly test their incident response plans and defenses, providing internal and external assurance that they are fit-for-purpose and, more importantly, using any lessons learned to continuously improve their cybersecurity status.

Preparing for Security and Beyond

Security issues like the ones we’ve discussed will become more prevalent as we move ahead. However, companies like yours still have time to secure your business assets. Talk to us to minimize your exposure and associated risk of cyber attacks.

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