The Three Biggest Mistakes In Cybersecurity

Everybody, from the small business owner, to senior enterprise executives are confronting a seemingly insurmountable problem: Fixed and rising cyber security breaches. It appears it doesn't matter what we do, there may be always someone that was hacked, a new vulnerability exploited, and tens of millions of dollars lost.

In an effort to stem the tide individuals have tried everything: From throwing cash at it by buying the latest and greatest tech gizmos promising security, to outsourcing cyber security management, to handing it over to the IT folks to deal with it. And, every time the result's money misplaced, productivity decreased, and the attacks continue.

Many business people complain that we’re not just losing a battle here and there. We’re shedding the war. Is that true? The reality is that those that keep losing their cyber battles and risk losing the war are making three critical mistakes:

1. They think cyber security is a technology problem.

2. They follow a cyber security check list as soon as-and-done.

3. They don’t have a cyber security awareness training program in place.

First, cyber security just isn't a technology problem. Removed from it. It is a enterprise-critical problem, and more importantly: It’s a individuals problem, and we need to address it at that level.

Second, cyber security is a continuously evolving battlefield. The threats evolve, the attacks take new paths, the underlying applied sciences change. A static check list solves yesterday’s problems, not today’s, and positively not tomorrow’s.

Finally, if individuals don’t understand the risk they won't even see the attack coming, a lot less be able to reply and protect themselves. Cyber security awareness training is the only way to organize everyone for the new reality we live and work in.

Remember: Cyber security just isn't an IT problem. It's a risk administration problem, a keep-in-enterprise problem. This is less complicated to understand in you work in a regulated industry. There, the idea, language, even governance of risk administration is a part of the each day lexicon.

Not so with small and mid-market enterprise less familiar with the risk administration function. It doesn’t help that the very nature of the menace and the way the "payload" of the attack is delivered is by way of information technologies. It virtually makes sense to have IT deal with cyber security. However the victims usually are not the computers. The victims are the companies and their people.

More importantly: A company’s Data Technology generates Value. It does so a myriad completely different ways relying on the business you might be in, from the actual delivery of products to clients (e.g. software businesses, data businesses, media and technology businesses etc.) to complementing, enhancing, and realizing the mission and vision of the corporate (law companies, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, etc.)

Cyber security, like all risk management, is there to protect value. Therefore, you possibly can never have cyber security (the value protector) report to IT (the value creator). That creates a battle of interest. Just like IT reports directly to the CEO, so must cyber security. They are parallel tracks keeping the enterprise train aligned and moving.

After you have the reporting construction appropriately in place, you must empower it with executive buy-in and engagement. Cyber security needs your direction on company goals and risk appetite so they can develop the best strategy to protect the company’s assets. Cyber security professionals, working with the board and executives, together with IT and enterprise units, will develop the proper defense-in-depth strategy that's right for the company.

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