Most everyone knows not to open a link in a suspicious email. Why, then, are so many phishing attacks successful?
If we recognize the importance of using strong passwords, how do so many cybercriminals gain access to our email, social media, and website accounts?
And if enterprises understand how critical it is to protect their computer networks and devices, why do we continue to see them fall victim to malware or Denial of Service (DoS) attacks?
The answer may surprise you.
It's not because cybercriminals are technical geniuses with a special ability to break through the steel fortresses we put around digital assets. And it's not that a cybercriminal's attack method is stronger than a company's line of defense.
The reason cybercriminals can cause us harm is due – at least in part – to a collective ambivalence surrounding cybersecurity in general. And being ambivalent can turn us into unwilling accomplices.
Cybercriminals prey on weakness. And when we are ambivalent about cybersecurity, we weaken our defenses. Your cybersecurity strategy will be less effective if teams and individuals do not understand how – and why – to follow it.
In fact, you could very well enable a cyberattack if you lack clear understanding and do not adhere to security best practices. Some organizations believe that because they are small or not highly valued that cybercriminals will ignore them. Others feel that because they have an IT team in-house, their security is in good hands.
Both of these are false assumptions.
The business that sees itself as too small and does not take precautions consequently increases the likelihood of an attack. Companies should look at security from a hacker's perspective. The question is not how much your data is worth. The question is how much you will pay to get it back. If cybercriminals can seize control of your network and disrupt operations, the chances are high that you will pay as much as you can to regain control.
Similarly, the business with an in-house IT department must distinguish between security and IT and take action to develop both independently. Today's networks rely on many applications, personal devices, cloud storage, and other software solutions to meet business goals. But each of these can become a risk if they are not properly monitored. Teams and individuals must understand security best practices and follow them accordingly. Without guidance and education, it is too easy to grow complacent. This is typically when an attack occurs.
Controlling a New Environment
Organizations today conduct operations in remote environments more than ever. Rest assured that cybercriminals see this as a boon to business. Therefore, it is essential for business leaders to instill the appropriate awareness and adherence to cybersecurity among teams.
Make no mistake, ambivalence about cybersecurity can lead to an attack. Thinking that an attack will not happen to you is naive. If businesses large and small operate from the assumption that cyber threats are real, you can develop a strategy to prevent and mitigate a significant disruption.
The first step is talking about your business with a cybersecurity team of experts. This will help provide clarity and an understanding of your needs. Based on those needs, you can then start building a plan to protect your network and data. With a plan in place, you can discuss cybersecurity with employees to ensure they follow best practices.
Being proactive is the opposite of being ambivalent. It is choosing to be strong instead of weak. When would-be hackers see you have a strong defense, they will most likely move on to a more vulnerable target. Being proactive also assures your partners, employees, and customers that you are doing everything you can to keep their data safe.
Remember, there are numerous ways for a cybercriminal to gain access to your network – applications, email, mobile devices, and many others – but it only takes a single cybersecurity strategy to minimize risk and keep you safe.
InfoSystems can Help
InfoSystems is a trusted IT and cybersecurity partner that can help.
We offer numerous solutions, including:
- Mobile device management (MDM)
- Vendor Risk Assessment
- Federal Compliance
- And many more
Schedule a call today to discuss your organization's needs and eliminate security ambivalence.