Cybersecurity Tips for Businesses

Mar 13, 2021 8:47 AM ET

The digital age is in full-force in 2021, and society has evolved immeasurably even compared to ten years ago -which really isn’t a big chunk of time for so much to happen. There is a simple fact that describes today’s society; most of the world relies on the internet heavily (arguably too much) these days. One would think that cybersecurity -internet safety in other words- would be something very run-of-the-mill by now, but it is rather bizarre to think that it isn’t actually implemented properly in most sectors. If there are traffic lights everywhere that serve to control traffic and stop people crashing into one another, why isn’t cybersecurity implemented at every corner to secure the risks of the internet jungle? This is because securing the internet is not such a clear-cut operation at all, nor is the internet something that can be enforced or controlled with an on and off switch. It’s a multi-layered process. With that, an ongoing example of a landmark hacking event will be mentioned later that is a perfect example of the need to tighten cybersecurity moving forward.

Business cybersecurity, also known as enterprise cybersecurity, should be one of the greatest focuses of the new decade. People entrust their most fundamental functions to businesses and organizations today. The internet now runs people’s transactions with the medical sector, as well as things like finance, travel, work and social media. Entrusting so much sensitive information (and such vast amounts of data) to the enterprise means that cybersecurity must be a critical priority for businesses and organizations. Of course, the government is no different either because even they rely on the internet for national security. All of this concern really will ring true in what is probably going to be the most dangerous decade with regards to existing and innovative global cybercrime risks: the 2020s.

What are Enterprise Cybersecurity Solutions?

Enterprise cybersecurity refers to the various software (solutions) and practices (knowledge and training) related to the digital safety of businesses and organizations. Cybersecurity for enterprises of course different from consumer-oriented cybersecurity solutions. Enterprise security can include solutions catering specifically to the business sector such as; enterprise network security, dedicated cybersecurity departments, employee training for cybersecurity awareness and strategic approaches to threat mitigation (fighting against cyber threats).

Why Businesses Need Proper Cybersecurity

Businesses and organizations, or enterprises, are increasingly using the internet to conduct their work. This is because there is no better platform for exponential growth of a business than on digital channels. Businesses have always relied on attracting customers, proliferating marketing strategy, growing credibility and brand image. There is no better, quicker, broader or more efficient platform to do these things than on the internet. Microsoft released a report called ‘Cyberspace 2025: Today’s Decisions, Tomorrow’s Terrain’. In this report, it is stated by Microsoft that “By 2025, more than 91 percent of people in developed countries and nearly 69 percent of those in emerging economies will be using the Internet. Internet dependence will not just be a concept, but rather a new reality”.

The new decade is going to see a technological shift by enterprises to AI technology as well, which is evident. IBM is already very focused on their Watson AI for business product, “Watson is AI for business. IBM’s portfolio of enterprise-ready pre-built applications, tools and runtimes are designed to reduce the costs and hurdles of AI adoption while maximizing outcomes and responsible use of AI”. This decade, AI for business is going to be a big deal, which means also integrating it with machine learning, cloud storage, and other emerging technologies such as 5G. Ideally this needs to be done in a safe, efficient way.

The Current Cybercrime Problem

Very recently, it was discovered that one of the most significant data breaches in computing history took place. It was confirmed that SolarWinds, a U.S. based network software company that caters to high-profile businesses and federal government agencies, was breached by foreign actors. Some have even referred to it as a ‘cyber Pearl Harbour’. It has come to a point where the U.S. Congress has had to hold hearings with top tech executives and cybersecurity professionals in order to figure out what to do next. Concerning this event, head of cybersecurity in the U.S. Ann Neuberger said that “it’s really highlighted the investments we need to make in cybersecurity to have the visibility to block these attacks in the future”. She goes on to mention that security needs to be built from the ground up, “It’s wise when planning in cybersecurity to consider the worst-case”. All of this information is to say that the threat landscape is widening every day, becoming more difficult to detect and mitigate. This is exactly why attention to cybersecurity is critical going forward for the business sector.

Software Solutions and Cybersecurity Practices for Businesses

Enterprise solutions and cybersecurity approaches in the business sector need to be looking forward and taking the following findings and trends into account.

Business email needs attention to fend off phishing attacks
Adoption of vulnerability management and predictive processes
Securing data and due diligence when transitioning to cloud storage
Securing AI and machine learning that will automate business processes
SMEs (small businesses especially) need to be especially aware of cybercrime
Rethinking cybersecurity roles such as CDOs and CISOs (chief cybersecurity officers)
The financial payments industry needs to be wary of ‘open payment’ systems
Cryptocurrency safety methods need to be further investigated
Attacks on mobile devices are on the rise which requires attention
Attacks on quantum computing research are expected to happen
Mass-scale cyber attacks on industrial IoT (internet of things) is expected
Properly managing open source software DevSecOps (security controls)
Process flows and security in app development will need tightened security
Developing blockchain-based health management systems for ultimate security
The industry needs cyber-physical security in a hybrid threat landscape

Enterprise Cybersecurity Moving Forward

The need for cybersecurity in every sector has become extremely evident, albeit perhaps a little too late. CISO (chief cybersecurity) positions and awareness of such cybersecurity positions are becoming evident too. It is critical to ensure that the security of old infrastructures is combed through, a.k.a securing legacy systems. Overall, in order to safely enter the new decade without risking enterprise sectors’ integrity the cybersecurity sector must be proactive in attaining solutions that improve network visibility. Awareness of potential vulnerabilities, exploits, and endpoints need to be strategically analyzed into a from-the-ground-up plan in accordance with new cybersecurity laws and regulations.

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