Five Steps to Safeguard Your Business from Cyber-Attacks

Ripu Bajwa, Director & General Manager – Data Protection Solutions, Dell Technologies

The business landscape in India isn’t the same anymore. The past few months have forced organizations across industries and sizes, to transform their operating models and adapt to remote working culture overnight. No doubt that this transition was quick, but due to lack of technology preparedness, it left significant gaps for them to protect their mission critical data. This gap became a breeding ground for cyber attackers and criminals resulting in the increase in instances of breach in security and access to customer data. As per security experts, cyber-attacks/breaches in the country have jumped by as much as 500 percent since March, this year.

With the evolution of the data protection ecosystem, these types of cyber-attacks have changed. For instance, the recent cyber-attacks that were witnessed in the country were of different forms from phishing webs to ransomware attacks etc. These attacks individually caused a significant damage to businesses, both in terms of cost and image. Hence, in order to safeguard the key business data resource, CIOs and CTOs need to make investments in the right technology. Few steps that can help them mitigate the effects of a cyber-breach are:

Develop a cyber-playbook: Cybersecurity teams need to plan in advance for cyber incidents, including the development of playbooks with varying scenarios. Flexibility matters because as an organization’s goals change, so do the risks. Thus, the cyber playbook should align with overall business priorities so that the right amount of

resource is allocated to identify, protect, detect, respond to as well as recover in case of an external threat.

An investment in a comprehensive security approach not only saves invaluable time and resources, but also preserves public trust

Appropriate training: Simply remaining compliant doesn’t ensure that your data will be protected. Hence, security teams should always utilize opportunities for continual training. When a new member joins the team, use the onboarding process to reintroduce exercises and best practices to the whole team. Leaders should also leverage creative methods—including team events and gaming-based training, to facilitate greater participation and learning.

Audit (and supplement) personnel: IT leaders should continually audit organizational roles to determine specific strengths and weaknesses within their teams to assess their stance on risk management. A successful way to bridge the gap will be through regular check of the employees and assuring that no loop is kept untouched, which can cause a threat to the data integrity of an organization

Proper cyber hygiene: Cyber hygiene isn’t a one-off exercise. It requires a consistent approach. As governments reinvent the ways they operate and interface with constituents, businesses must also empower employees through workforce transformation to meet the growing security expectations of the data era. This needs to be a year-round effort, with substantial, calculated investments in employees through awareness campaigns.

Invest in infrastructure with built-in security: Organizations struggle to protect the numerous endpoints that fall outside of the traditional security reach. As the number of tools and technology systems increases, the volume of generated data also rises, expanding IT infrastructure beyond data centers, making it harder to protect against threats. Therefore, it is vital for IT decision-makers to invest in a secure, flexible infrastructure from the beginning, extending from edge to core to cloud.

The Future Course:
An investment in a comprehensive security approach not only saves invaluable time and resources, but also preserves public trust. Fighting any kind of cyber threat, be it ransomware or malware, is an iterative process that measures progress. Hence, businesses should tailor their efforts to make the most significant impact within the organization, to assess risk, and adjust the course of the cybersecurity program accordingly. A holistic cybersecurity approach, along with dedicated investment in technology is the need of the hour.

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