News 19/12/2018 by "Natasha Radford"

Cyber Security Warnings – What to Prepare For in 2019

Cyber Security Warnings - What to Prepare For in 2019

It’s no secret that the internet has transformed our world. In just 50 years, we have gone from clunky computers (whose creators never imagined would be adopted for in-home use) right the way through to fully connected devices that can fit into our pockets, or wrap stylishly around our wrists. Generations who vehemently objected to internet use, were forced to comply as most banks and other traditional organisations ditched paper correspondents in favour of email.

Not a single person in 2018 can avoid some brush with technology, lest you live in a remote village and are still not aware that a bigger world exists around you.

As technology has matured and deepened, so too have the systems and skills of individuals that seek to exploit it. In a relatively short amount of time, cyber attacks have evolved from annoying viruses or inconvenient hacks, and transformed into something so large scale that bank accounts have been wiped, millions of people have had their personal information stolen, and elections have been manipulated.

Security Divides

Greater connectivity — more platforms and systems used — has created greater potential attack vectors; leaving businesses and individuals more vulnerable than ever before. As businesses scramble to get an edge over their competitors, the breadth of systems utilised tends to grow. You need to be on social, you need an internet connected internal communication system, you need a CRM, you have a customer database, and you have all your financial and legal information stored somewhere “securely” online.

While greater connectivity opens up more doors to enter, it is also the most obvious and therefore the easiest to plan against. The real challenges are staff, suppliers, IoT, and legacy systems.

  1.  Staff
    It is unlikely that your staff are out to steal your IP or weaken your security but it is likely that some of your users will not have the skills or resources to protect their data, and this can leave the business open to risk.
  2. Suppliers
    As with your staff, your suppliers aren’t likely to be selling your data, but there is a chance that their cybersecurity strategy may not be as robust as yours, which can create significant vulnerabilities.
  3.  Internet of Things
    As businesses or your staff, bring smart technology — be it a toaster, fridge or even coffee mug — into the office, you’re also bringing in more pathways from which hackers can enter your network. Also opening up new ways that they can impact your physical environment – scary stuff.
  4. Complex Architecture
    The continuing decentralisation of IT management creates increasingly complex architecture and will continue to be a challenge into the future.

Enter 2019 Risk-Free

While you should, of course, work with IT security professionals to create a concrete cybersecurity plan, there are steps you can take now to ensure your business, your staff and your systems are best prepared for the New Year.

Educate and upskill – Cyber risks evolve rapidly. Don’t assume that your staff are up to speed on best practice. Establish an ongoing education for staff about cybersecurity and ensure your IT staff are being upskilled on this topic regularly.

Review systems – Get your IT team or an external security professional to go through all of your systems to check for any weak spots that are vulnerable to breach. Close up any gaps before someone else finds them.

Implement security from the beginning – Make it a policy that every new system is designed to be secure. Every new employee and supplier should be educated on security and plans should be in place to ensure it is ongoing.

Invest in security – Whether you use external security support or not, your business needs the skills in-house to keep your organisation safe. If you’re seeking the best skilled IT security experts in the country, get in touch with us to connect you.