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How To Remedy Gaps In Your Cybersecurity Plan

Cybersecurity Attacks Grow In Tandem With Technological Advances

There’s no question that technology has become an integral part of our lives. Whether we’re using mobile phones and social media to keep up with friends and family or sending emails and checking Teams messages to collaborate with colleagues down the hall or around the world, it’s clear that our reliance on technology will only become stronger as time goes on.

However, that reliance on technology in our personal and professional lives has created a whole new ecosystem of data and equipment that needs to be secured to ensure the integrity, operational efficiency, and resilience of businesses. Unfortunately – though unexpectedly – recent surveys show that as our technological reliance grows, so too are cybersecurity breaches and attacks.

  • 54% of organizations have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months, and 52% say there is an increase in cyberattacks compared to last year.
  • Cyber attacks targeting healthcare organizations are projected to increase by 50% by 2023
  • 67% of organizations believe that they are vulnerable to insider threats
  • 60% of organizations do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan in place
  • In 2023, it is projected that cyber attacks will cause $6 trillion in damages

Not having a robust cybersecurity plan can expose your organization to various dangers and put your overall security infrastructure at risk in several ways:

Data Breaches

Without adequate cybersecurity measures, sensitive data – including customer information, intellectual property, and financial records – becomes vulnerable to theft or unauthorized access. Data breaches can lead to financial losses, legal liabilities, and damage to your organization’s reputation.

Financial Losses

Cyberattacks can result in financial losses due to ransom payments (which frequently do not actually lead to the data access being restored), costs associated with incident recovery, and potential lawsuits. The lack of a cybersecurity plan may lead to unanticipated expenses and revenue losses.

Operational Disruption

Ransomware or Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks can disrupt your organization’s operations, causing downtime and affecting productivity. A particularly robust cyberattack may target not only your data but also your organization’s operational and security systems that are connected to the network, like POS devices, access control systems, video surveillance equipment, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. This can result in lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction, and security and safety breaches to your physical space as well as your digital infrastructure.

Regulatory Violations

Many industries have specific cybersecurity regulations and compliance requirements. Failing to implement proper cybersecurity measures can lead to regulatory violations and significant fines. Non-compliance may also damage your reputation.

Reputation Damage

A cybersecurity incident can tarnish your organization’s reputation. Customers and partners may lose trust in your ability to protect their data, leading to customer churn and potential business relationship strains.

Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

Weak cybersecurity in your organization can create vulnerabilities that extend to your supply chain partners. Attackers may exploit these connections to compromise your organization and its partners, potentially causing a ripple effect of damage.

Intellectual Property Theft

Businesses often have valuable intellectual property that, if not adequately protected, can be stolen or compromised. This can result in lost competitive advantage and potential legal disputes.

Steps for Preventing Cybersecurity Attacks

While the potential dangers of a cybersecurity attack are numerous, they are not unavoidable. There are steps that your organization can take to prevent attacks and – in the event that one occurs – isolate the situation so that it can be remediated and prevent further damage.

“One of the things that a lot of people ask us is how is artificial intelligence going to affect cybersecurity?” says Lindsay Jones, Manager, Central and South Texas Service & Client Support Center for MCA. “The good news is that as AI improves, so do the security mechanisms around it. We can embrace automation and AI to increase security measures in our customers’ digital and physical spaces. Things like detection, analysis, reporting, and even incident mitigation are getting better and faster with automation and AI firmly in the mix.”

Develop a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Plan

Create a well-defined and documented cybersecurity plan that aligns with your organization’s goals and includes prevention, detection, response, and recovery strategies from cyber incidents.

Conduct Risk Assessments

Regularly assess your organization’s cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities to identify potential weaknesses in your security infrastructure. This will help prioritize security investments.

Invest in Cybersecurity Technologies

Implement robust cybersecurity technologies and tools like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, antivirus software, encryption, and security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

Employee Training and Awareness

Educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices, social engineering threats, and the importance of maintaining security protocols. Human error is common in cyber incidents, so training is crucial.

Incident Response Planning

Develop an incident response plan that outlines the steps to take when a cyber incident occurs. This plan should include roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and a process for reporting and mitigating incidents.

Regular Testing and Monitoring

Continuously monitor your security infrastructure for potential threats and vulnerabilities. Conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to identify weaknesses.

Compliance Adherence

Stay informed about relevant cybersecurity regulations and ensure your organization complies with them. This includes data protection laws like GDPR or industry-specific standards like HIPAA.

Cybersecurity Insurance

Consider obtaining cybersecurity insurance to mitigate financial risks associated with cyber incidents.

Partner and Supply Chain Assessment

Assess the cybersecurity practices of your partners and supply chain participants to identify and mitigate potential risks that could affect your organization.

Incident Sharing and Collaboration

Collaborate with other organizations, government agencies, and industry groups to share cybersecurity threat intelligence and best practices.

Having a robust cybersecurity plan and implementing proactive measures will help protect your organization’s overall security infrastructure, reduce risks, and better prepare you to respond to cyber threats effectively. Cybersecurity should be an ongoing effort that evolves as the threat landscape changes.

About MCA

MCA is one of the largest and most trusted integrators in the United States, offering world-class voice, data, and security solutions that enhance the quality, safety, and productivity of customers, operations, and lives. More than 65,000 customers trust MCA to provide carefully researched solutions for a safe, secure, and more efficient workplace. As your trusted advisor, we reduce the time and effort needed to research, install, and maintain the right solutions to make your workplace better.

Our team of certified professionals across the United States delivers a full suite of reliable technologies with a service-first approach. The MCA advantage is our extensive service portfolio to support the solution lifecycle from start to finish.

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