October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security and educate the public and private sectors on strategies to protect their data. Federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Investigation promote Cyber Security month.
As the internet and electronic databases become an increasingly significant part of both business and personal life, the need to protect those assets increases. In 2017 alone there have been multiple high-profile cyber attacks, including breaches of notable organizations such as HBO and Equifax. According to the Breach Level Index, over 9 billion data records have been lost or stolen since 2013, and records are lost or stolen at a current rate of 5,205,955 per day. Cyber threats are only increasing, and it's important for organizations to make sure that their cyber security is up to the task.
Here are 10 steps to take to protect your data:
- Managing your cyber security risk should be part of the overall risk management plan
Mitigating cyber risk should be a key component of the strategic framework for managing your organization's risk. Cyber security is as important as physical security.
- Elevate the discussion
Conversations about managing cyber risk should be held across all levels. Engaging all levels of management up to the CEO in regular communication about cyber risks provides awareness of current risks and potential impact to the business.
- Involve decision-makers in cyber risk management
Executives should have a hand in overseeing risk management to make sure it continues to be implemented effectively. Those with decision-making power can approve any changes to budget or outsourcing that may be necessary to continue to protect your organization's information, so they should also be involved and accountable in the cyber risk management plan.
- Determine how your data may be at risk
The type of information you collect and store, as well as the kind of organization you run, can impact your risks. How valuable is your data, and how might cyber attackers attempt to obtain and use it? For instance, if you are in the financial services or healthcare industries, the data you store is at high risk for malicious breaches. The type of organization you run and the data you store may determine if you are at a higher risk for cyber attacks that result in financial loss, destruction of critical infrastructure, or theft of information. Knowing what type of cyber attacks may occur will help you to better prepare for them.
- Consider who you share your data with
From vendors to partners, those you share data with should also have strong security practices and cyber risk management plans in place. Before sharing information ask about their processes, policies, and protections.
- Define and test your incident response plans
Have incident response plans, including backup plans, in place well before they are needed so that your organization's response to cyber threats is as swift as possible. Be sure to test the efficacy of these plans before an emergency occurs.
- Stay ahead of new technology
Keep on the cutting edge of the technology your organization is using and build additional plans for cloud platforms and the IoT (Internet of Things).
- Continually train all employees on cyber risks
Threats are consistently changing, and it's important that your tools and knowledge are kept continually up to date. Because a breach can occur through a user at any level, every employee should have the necessary training. Beyond that, spread awareness of cyber security to your vendors and partners as well to ensure continued protection of your data.
- Collaborate to ensure cyber security
Coordinating across departments is an effective way to manage risks and implement a swift response. One organizational option is to establish in each department at least one employee who manages cyber risk so that communication, protection, and response run seamlessly across the organization.
- Maintain situational awareness
Timely response to cyber incidents requires an awareness of the organizations' vulnerabilities, the threats specific to the data you store, and real-time detection.
In a guide about "Cybersecurity Questions for CEOs," the Department of
Homeland Security says of situational awareness, "Analyzing,
aggregating, and integrating risks data from various sources and
participating in threat information sharing with partners helps
organizations identify and respond to incidents quickly and ensure
protective efforts are commensurate with risk. A network operations
center can provide real-time and trend data on cyber events.
Business-line managers can help identify strategic risks, such as risks
to the supply chain created through third-party vendors or cyber
interdependencies. Sector information Sharing and Analysis Centers,
government and intelligence agencies, academic institutions, and
research firms also serve as valuable sources of threat and
vulnerability information that can be used to enhance situational
Another way to secure continuous situational awareness is with a cyber security fusion center with a team of operators with different skill sets such as physical security, cyber security, operations, data science, etc. The diversity of operators allows for cross-organizational intelligence as well as rapid threat response.
Constant Technologies helps organizations maintain the situational
awareness needed to combat cyber attacks through turn-key installations
of operations centers with custom command center furniture and video wall integration. As specialists in Network Operations Center Design, Constant can assist your organization in achieving your cyber security goals through the creation of a cyber operations center, security operations center (SOC), network operations center (NOC), or fusion center. An operations center video wall will help your organization maintain situational awareness by displaying and sharing numerous information sources to all operators with the latest audio visual technology. As mission critical AV integrators, Constant Technologies can select from among the best products to provide you with a 24/7 video wall system that suits your needs. We also design, manufacture, and install our own custom network operation center consoles, creating a cohesive, ergonomic space so your operators can focus on maintaining your organization's cyber security with optimal comfort and functionality.
If you are considering creating a cyber operations center, security operations center (SOC), network operations center (NOC), or fusion center to assist in the management of your cyber risk, contact Constant Technologies today for a free design consultation.
Constant Technologies, Inc. is a premier audio visual integrator providing mission
critical customized audio visual integration, technology and custom
furniture solutions worldwide. With over 3 decades of experience, its
seasoned team has access to and experience with sensitive environments,
such as Cyber Defense and Homeland Security. Constant designs, installs
and services projects of all scopes to create solutions with
the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality.
Our team works within a range of operations center environments: Network Operations Centers (NOC), Security Information Centers (SIC), Security Operations Centers
(SOC), Cyber Security Operations
Centers (CSOC), Fusion Operations
Centers, Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), Joint Operations Centers (JOC), Tactical Operations Centers
(TOC), Combined Operations Centers (COS), C4ISR Environments and Social
Media Command Centers. We offer professional video wall integration and technology furniture to give your team the space to operate