Improve Cybersecurity by Reducing System Complexity
Growing companies sometimes make unenviable choices about capital investments. One of those decisions sometimes involves cybersecurity and whether to hold off on investing in your defenses. That’s a lot like driving a backroad road at night with no headlights. The inevitable outcome will be a bad one.
Reducing your cybersecurity budget will only make your organization more vulnerable to attacks. In fact, the less stringent the deterrents you put in place, the more likely hackers will see the outfit as low-hanging fruit. It may be more prudent to rethink your systems and digital footprint in a way that reduces potential breaches. If you are engaged in long-term financial planning and have difficult choices to make, consider working with a managed IT firm to reduce complexities in a way that also enhances cybersecurity.
Do Shared Services Weaken Your Cybersecurity?
As an industry leader, you are probably on the hunt for innovative ways to gain a competitive edge. Emerging technology and systems tend to deliver such advantages. But fiscal restraints may lead decision-makers to enter into agreements with third parties for services. The benefit of reduced costs typically drives such deals. The downside can be opening your network up for a breach via a third party.
In terms of cybersecurity, you can avoid third-party collaborations by purchasing the technology outright. An alternative would be to insist on due diligence that minimizes a hacker’s risk leveraging the other network to penetrate yours. These are questions that require clear and concise answers.
- How does the vendor protect employee, customer, and confidential data?
- What cybersecurity protocols does the third party have in place?
- Does the vendor have industry-leading cybersecurity certification?
- Are reliable processes such as data encryption used during file transfers?
- Are employees provided ongoing cybersecurity awareness training?
- How much cyber insurance does the outfit carry, and are you also covered?
- Has the third party ever been targeted or successfully hacked?
The financial rewards of reducing costs must be weighed against the potential increased risk. According to Small Biz Daily, companies that fail to prevent a breach have only a 40 percent survival rate. Similarly, Cybercrime Magazine reports that 60 percent of businesses shutter within six months after getting hacked. If those cybersecurity questions are not answered to your satisfaction, investing in the technology or software may be a less complex solution.
Minimize Attack Surface by Rethinking Complexity
Every organization has an “attack surface” comprised of all of the resources exploited by a bad actor. In a best-case scenario, your organization’s digital assets are separated from external forces. Unfortunately, conducting business in the digital age makes that nearly impossible.
So, how can business professionals reduce the operation’s attack surface without impeding productivity? The answer is not retreating from the Cloud or ending remote workforces. Solutions include eliminating the overly complex systems and protocols that pile up over time. These are examples of complexity reduction solutions.
- Utilize multi-factor authentication for employee login profiles
- Eliminate outdated cybersecurity policies and redundancies
- Leverage zero-trust network access to minimize risk
- Have a cybersecurity expert conduct a vulnerability assessment and streamline defenses
- Limit what endpoint devices can do and how much data they can access
- Compartmentalize your network to create additional attack surface barriers
When policies and protocols overlap and create redundancies, such complexities can increase the likelihood of human error. Simplification, attack surface reduction, and bringing necessary systems under one roof are ways to minimize a cyber-attack risk. Of course, every organization has unique needs and vulnerabilities requiring a managed IT cybersecurity expert to effectively reduce complexity and harden your defenses.
With over 35 years in the business of supporting and implementing technology for the SME market, and 6 years previously in Corporate IT and Voice. I have seen a great deal of change. The only common thread is I have always focused on the Business Wise application of Technology. We always try to look 5 years ahead of the current technology to make sure our clients are on the right track to meet current and future needs.