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Cybersecurity is a Business Problem – not an IT one

Cybersecurity is a Business Problem – not an IT one

Sooner or later, your digital business will be hacked. This is not a case of “if” but simply “when”. And when this happens, your chance of survival will depend on the preparation you have done in advance.

It is physically and economically impossible to fully protect any organization from a data breach.

In fact, you might not even know you’ve been hacked until it’s far too late – just look at internet giant Yahoo!, where an enormous security breach leaked out account details for one billion users – and wiped a billion dollars off the company’s value.

In case you’re still skeptical, consider this: we’re in the midst of a steady, 40 percent year-on-year increase in the amount of malicious machine code seen “in the wild”, in other words, flying around the internet, just looking for a host to attack. There’s no wonder that this has led to a 60 percent year-on-year increase in cyber “incidents” detected by companies.

It’s time to batten down the hatches. To protect the bottom line, business leaders need to act now to make sure their own environments are protected against the possibility of cybercrime.

The challenge is complex. Remember BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)? Every time an employee-owned device enters your premises or connects to your network, it puts an organization’s IT systems under threat. Is the device properly secured? What kind of data is it carrying?

And what about cloud, especially via “shadow IT”? Another culprit. People within an organization who are by-passing established processes are also creating an open invitation to get hacked.

The cold reality is that employees are using and accessing information without truly understanding the risk implications. And this is a business issue, not an IT one.

The biggest challenge we see is simply one of education. It is the responsibility of business leaders to make sure their staff are alerted as to how data is accessed, stored, transferred and transported to ensure the security of the business as a whole – and to make sure that staff are fully aware of what happens when a data breach does occur. Once this is in place, it becomes part of a holistic approach to IT security.

To succeed requires a company culture which recognizes the potential risk when any untrusted file or website is accessed. Take Dridex, a malicious piece of software called a Trojan. One unfortunate company’s entire bank account was wiped out – completely – after an employee opened a file attachment that had arrived by email. The attachment contained the Trojan, but the email and the attachment were socially engineered, to look and feel genuine. However, once activated, Dridex was able to log banking keystrokes/passwords and then send this information over the internet to a hacker in another country – who within minutes was then able to execute a simple transaction that completely drained this company’s bank accounts – and little could be done about it.

Cybercrime is that easy – yet it is extremely sophisticated

Fujitsu operates a global network of Security Operations Centers (SOCs) that were able to detect, track and ultimately bring down the Dridex Trojan. In a similar case, we tracked down some malware which had managed to log personal data from some 350 million accounts, ready for sale on the black market – the dark web. Fujitsu’s intervention meant that the relevant authorities were alerted, and arrests were made, as well as closing down the threat – which came from just two servers.

The need for companies like Fujitsu to operate SOCs to monitor and protect our customers’ networks is testament to the fact that a firewall is no longer good enough to defend your digital business against cybercrime. Security is 24/7. It requires constant support and threat monitoring – and rapid response mechanisms.

Effective security is about seeing the big picture – keeping a watchful eye from above and using network intelligence to predict what might happen next. Today, cybersecurity is a service and not just a software package.

Our advice for business leaders is to drill-down into where and how threats may impact their operations. This will help mitigate future attacks as well as helping to restrict the spread of malware like banking Trojans.

Cybercriminals don’t discriminate, they are looking for any way in, and any company will do. To reduce the chances that their next target will be you requires reviewing and updating your corporate security policies, educating your staff and recognizing that security does not have to be expensive to be effective. The addition of managed security services as an additional layer of protection before the day your business is hacked is a wise move.

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