Over the past two weeks, the security industry has seen some disclosures (or in one case, a half-disclosure) of vulnerabilities within their products. In at least two of these cases, we know that these vulnerabilities could have led to a significant compromise of data and systems. But what’s really interesting about these two vendors is how they responded to the discovery.
In the story of David and Goliath, an underdog managed to win a contest against a much larger, stronger foe. Looking at the state of information security today, a David-and-Goliath scenario is very much present; except David is the small and midsize business (SMB) market, and Goliath is the marauding horde of attackers, malware and other bad actors trying to break their systems and steal their data. And just like in the biblical tale, SMB organizations are dealing with an opponent who seems impossible to defeat.
When planning out a budget for the new year, finding a place for cybersecurity can be difficult. You want to put that money toward new ventures, but you also know that a major breach can forever damage your reputation.
To help those waffling between how much to put into digital defenses, let's review some of the biggest reasons having a plan is worth the time and money.
Many business leaders feel as if IT security should be a service that's kept in-house. While it's true that internal employees do need to be able to take steps to ensure the safety of company data, there are a host of advantages to allowing an experienced outside company to take the reins.
So, what can your organization get out of outsourcing IT security?
1. Your team may not be experienced enough
Although your IT employees are obviously very talented individuals, there's a good chance that cybersecurity isn't their main focus. While these workers surely know a good deal about this topic, it may not be enough to stop an impending cyberattack.
When you're trying to protect your home computer from cyber threats, what do you normally do? You probably download the latest malware program and update your firewall.
But IT security at the corporate level is much more complicated, costly and time consuming.
"IT security at the corporate level is complicated, costly and time consuming."
After all, if it was easy to protect systems, IT criminals wouldn't have gained access to the Trump Hotel Collection and stolen credit card information from 70,000 individuals. The Australian Red Cross wouldn't have faced a cyber breach that resulted in hackers gaining access to 550,000 blood donors' personal information. And Anthem health insurance systems wouldn't have had to deal with the fall out of a breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 80 million people.
Businesses must take IT security seriously because their financial future depends on it. IT security is a broad topic that covers a range of different fields.
Here we'll discuss common vulnerabilities and why companies must ensure their operational systems are well-protected from cybercriminals.
"Interjection vulnerabilities are one of the most common and oldest web application vulnerabilities."
1. Injection vulnerabilities
Interjection vulnerabilities, such as cross-site scripting and CRLF injection, are one of the most common and oldest web application vulnerabilities because it's easy for cybercriminals to access and affect (or infect) them.
Managers are versatile employees who understand how to run departments and motivate employees, but they may not always be the most well informed about cybersecurity. However, this isn't their fault!
The landscape of cybersecurity changes every day, and IT professionals must always stay on their toes to protect networks against new, advanced phishing and malware attacks. After all, cybercriminals are always on the lookout for new holes and weakness to exploit. Department managers simply don't have the time to run teams and IT security practices.
IT professionals need to keep management well informed about new IT security protocols, updates, possible breaches, and actual attacks. In more detail, here are three things your boss wants to (or should know) about cybersecurity:
IT security is a growing issue that companies must address before it's too late. For example, take Yahoo, which recently experienced what some are calling the biggest breach of all time, when cybercriminals stole information from 500 million user accounts.
"Yahoo believes that criminals stole an assortment of personal information."
Confirmed by Bob Lord of Cisco in a statement, Yahoo believes criminals stole an assortment of personal information from users, although it suggests unprotected passwords, bank account information and payment card data were left untouched.
Cybercriminals and IT security shouldn't be taken lightly. One breach can cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you're not sure whether your company needs to upgrade or completely revamp its cybersecurity practices, here are three warning signs that indicate it should:
"One breach can cost your company hundreds or thousands of dollars."
1. You Don't Understand the Target
IBM executive security advisor Diana Kelley, who co-authored the IBM study "Securing the C-suite," has over two decades of cybersecurity experience. Her company has 7,000 IT professionals protecting the organization from outside threats. But even Kelley recognizes that numerous executives, even at the most influential computer institutions such as IBM, don't take IT security as seriously as they should.
Cybersecurity firms are becoming a hot commodity for clients that either don't want to or can't expand their own IT security team or desire more than a patchwork piece of hardware to protect their most critical assets.
"One of the very few times a CEO is fired is when you are exposed to a security breach," said Venky Ganesan, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures, according to Fortune. "This will be the last thing cut on the budget because nobody wants to lose their job."