Cyber security is a fast-growing sector, and for good reason. Every advance in the way security systems work is countered by renewed attempts by hackers, data miners, and social engineers.
Even the smallest organizations need to take their cyber security seriously, not least because almost every jurisdiction requires any business that holds and processes data to protect it effectively.
Customer data, payment information, and financial records all need to be stored in systems that are protected from attacks and data breaches.
While the smallest companies may outsource their cyber security, larger organizations will usually have a cyber security department.
The number of staff this includes will reflect the scale, sensitivity, and scope of the information being stored, but could include:
One of the most effective ways to minimize the risks associated with data handling and management is to be proactive about the types of threats that a company is likely to attract and prevent attacks from happening in the first place.
Threat intelligence officers provide information about any areas of weakness in a network, analyse threats to the security systems, and design databases to minimize the opportunities for hackers.
Threat intelligence relies on being fast to act when a new threat is identifies, and a threat intelligence officer is responsible for maintaining a good working knowledge of the latest attack methods and targets.
They produce reports and conduct investigations whenever the there is a breach to identify the origins and any likely suspects.
This could lead to the implementation of technological solutions such as using a zero trust VPN to secure the organization’s data.
Requiring continuous authentication and validation makes digital interactions safer and less likely to be the target of an attack.
While it is the job of every team member to try and limit the risks that a network is exposed to, it can be a huge advantage to have someone with dedicated responsibility for identifying and counteracting risks.
Researching software, finding security solutions, and creating a long-term strategy for protecting data are also a large part of this role.
One of the key areas in which risk mitigation roles are involved in is internal education and training.
As well as technical solutions to the problem of cyber-attacks, one of the most important and effective ways to protect against attacks is to ensure that staff are aware and able to identify any potentially concerning situations.
From relatively simple things such as maintaining strong passwords, checking any mobile devices that are connected to the network, and opting not to save passwords are all things that every employee should be aware of.
Effective risk mitigation will cover both internal and external threats and recognize the importance of robust data security policies.
The increasing digitization of processes means that companies hold more data than ever, from intelligence about their customers’ browsing habits to the way traffic flows across their networks.
By analysing data about their systems, businesses can identify and potentially prevent cyber-attacks.
Data analysts will mine the relevant data, collect statistically relevant information, and monitor the way systems are used to create a realistic picture of the area’s most likely to come under attack.
Using historical and current data, threat patterns can be identified, and any data breaches can be detected and handled in real time.
Analysts can also create algorithms that can detect malware and other anomalies by finding patterns of vulnerability and strengthening any aspect of their systems that could be more likely to be targeted.
Businesses that have their own proprietary software need to ensure that it offers an appropriate level of security.
Having a software developer on a cyber security team means that any updates and tweaks can be designed to meet the needs of the organization perfectly and be integrated swiftly.
A software developer that specializes in cyber security can reduce the downtime needed to protect systems in the aftermath of a threat or attack.
They can also design solutions to any security problems that their organization faces with a realistic understanding of the most effective way to minimize disruption and maximize efficiency.
While a cyber security team would ideally eliminate every threat, it is important to have a plan in place to deal with any attempted attacks, whether they are successful or not.
Incident management is the key to mitigating their impact with plans for a range of likely scenarios and long-term strategies for avoiding attacks altogether.
In smaller companies, this may mean that staff need to collect relevant information about any unusual transactions that take place or other suspicious activity.
For larger organizations that are in the public eye, incident management might also include preparing public statements to try and preserve the company’s reputation while reassuring stakeholders and explaining how they plan to avoid any future incidents.
Incident management is also the main way to use any information to prepare for the future by introducing new security measures, reiterating internal best practices, and identifying any gaps in security that have been highlighted by an attack.
Cyber security is one of the most important business functions of the modern day as businesses increasingly rely on safe networks to facilitate cloud storage and remote working.
Having the right team in a cyber security department allows a company to offer their customers, clients, and suppliers, a safe and secure environment in which to do business.
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