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Since 2015, approximately 3 billion data records have been compromised as a result of various data breaches. Cyber Crime perpetrated by criminal organizations, rogue states, and independent operators cost all types of industries billions of dollars each year. In the years to come, hackers are expected to become increasingly sophisticated as they learn how to use machine learning algorithms to disrupt organizations by stealing data or by simply interrupting operations.

While many will readily admit that cybersecurity is an important issue for any business to plan for, it can be hard to know just how much to budget for an effective and proportionate security plan. This article will review a few of the different options available to business people, making it easier to budget properly.

The state of cyber security in 2017

There have been a number of high profile security breaches this year that help to highlight the growing threat cybercrime is posing to all types of businesses. Most recently, Equifax reported that over 140 million users had their social security numbers exposed as a result of a hack. Also this year, an email marketing company called River City Media accidentally exposed information of approximately one billion people. In both cases, the organizations were subject to costly lawsuits and severely damaged brand sentiment.

In addition to major cyber security incidents, organizations of all types are focused on partnering with vendors that meet international security standards. As Deloitte found in a recent report, procurement officers are tasked with finding solutions that help to mitigate increased security risks.

Given the state of cyber security, businesses of all types, from software companies to services companies need to be thinking about ways to offer prospects a solution that complies to increased security standards, and that reduces the risk of a catastrophic data breach.

Network security

In late 2016, Dyn suffered a significant network attack that impacted thousands of customers and millions of end-users around the world. Network security solutions are critical to any organization interested in being able to prevent, detect, and contain zero day exploits.

Should cyber security protection of this nature be important for your business, be sure to look for a product that offers the ability to detect malicious SSL. Better yet, look for a solution that takes out the manual work of needing to pinpoint an attack should it occur. It is better to invest in a solution that can automatically detect an intrusion, rather than needing to rely on a team to do it manually.

Email protection

Email phishing is a type of cyber hacking whereby the hacker sends an email that is intended to appear normal. In the email is usually a link to a malicious website that asks the visitor to supply information. This information is used by hackers to access sensitive accounts. Once granted access, hackers wreak havoc. For example, a phishing scam was responsible for the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016.

To protect your organization from malicious email attacks, consider opting for a cyber security solution that is able to monitor email content, detect scams, and quarantine email to insulate your organization from outside threats.

While at first, you may be hesitant to invest in a cyber security solution that defends your organization from phishing and other email attacks, data shows that these types of attacks are consistently prevalent year in and year out.

Forensics and Investigation

In some instances, it may be impossible to prevent an intrusion. Even the most secure organizations in the world, like the National Security Agency, are unable to stop all hacking attempts. That’s where cyber forensics and investigation come in. In the case that your organization is unable to stop a breach, you will need to understand how far the breach went, and whether or not critical data was exposed to hackers.

While some organizations may choose to rely on internal cyber security experts to conduct this assessment, it can save time and money by working with an outside organization that specializes in this type of work.

Remember that if your organization did experience an attack, customers and pundits will expect your organization to make a timely announcement. The European Union is planning to pass legislation that will require companies to notify customers of a breach within 72 hours, and some are calling for the United States to pass similar legislation.  

Conclusion

Cyber security is not something to skimp on. Increasingly brands are being tarnished by mishandling customer data, or by experience long down times as a result of a hack. It is important that your organization take a thorough index of the areas that are at risk to hackers or data leaks, and from there, some sort of cyber security plan should be put into place.

Be sure to investigate both internal and external security solutions, as both pose pluses and minuses. Having an internal team means having an in-house knowledge center that can educate the rest of the company about cyber security best practices. Whereas relying on an outside service means having a quickly scalable solution that offers best in class cyber security protection.

 

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