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Cybersecurity Threats: The Significance of Response

 

Each year, cybersecurity attacks continue to grow in number and seemingly in severity. Forbes.com asserts that the most significant to date was the LinkedIn cyberattack, which caused a whopping 700 million records to be lost (Brooks, 2022).  It goes on to state that the top three industries that experienced the most data breaches from 2004 to 2021 were the web, finance and technology sectors. As the cybersecurity community continues to take action to create cybersecurity awareness while, at the same time, continuing to fight against data breaches, companies must ensure they are doing all they can to protect themselves.

Companies’ ability to respond to such cyber threats is key. Businesses must develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action when a cybersecurity incident is detected.  Applied Risk (Bouhdada, 2019), an industrial security service, outlines seven practical steps that can be implemented by any organization:

  1. Prepare.  As the old saying goes, “Preparation is key”.  In today’s digital landscape, businesses should have a cybersecurity incident response plan in place to effectively handle cybersecurity threats. A plan provides guidance to cybersecurity, communications, and business actions; reduces the impact of the threat, and provides a more effective sequence of business actions.  Once the plan has been created, it must be updated on a regular basis.
  2. Identify. Businesses must be able to detect unusual occurrences quickly and handle them as detailed in the response plan. Once an event has been identified, the scope and nature of the threat should be assessed. The focus needs to be on a comprehensive, speedy resolution, rather than a business beginning the decision process to determine how they will respond to a threat once it has been identified.
  3. Contain. The threat must be contained quickly and effectively. The sooner threats are isolated, the sooner the recovery of data and/or other processes can begin.  Effectiveness is critical. The right actions can help reduce the scope of the threat so that it has less potential to damage or destroy data, systems, or other company or client assets.
  4. Eradicate. Once contained, the threat must quickly be eliminated from the system. The appropriate approach to removing the issue will reduce unnecessary downtime and help make recovery easier.
  5. Restore. When the threat has been removed, the response plan must provide for the ability for systems to be restored from reliable backups.
  6. Learn. Once systems are restored, consider how the incident can be used as an opportunity to further refine the response plan and protect the system from future threats.
  7. Test. Ensure the effectiveness of processes by testing them regularly. Use drills to train staff members.

Ineffective response may result in temporary or permanent loss of critical data assets (internal and/or external, company and/or client data).  It can also mean significant operational downtime for the firm, since a slower or less expert response can extend the recovery process.

As a national leader in managed network security services, CMIT Solutions of South Nassau has a rich set of technologies, partners, and operations in place to quickly detect cybersecurity incidents and respond.  With these, they are able to help clients reduce the risk of intrusion in their systems or loss of data.  And should the worst happen, their available systems and expertise provide the means to quickly restore full operational capabilities.

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