The Biggest Security Hurdles in Your Business, and How to Overcome Them

With cyber security spanning almost every aspect of a modern business, implementing effective mitigation policies is often a source of frustration for IT managers.

It's widely accepted across the industry that with malicious attacks showing no signs of slowing down, organisations have no option but to invest considerable amounts of cash into hiring security professionals and maintaining business privacy. Gartner reported that costs for these investments into cyber security reached $86.4bn worldwide in 2017.

But despite these considerable investments, many organisations are still left in the dark when it comes to exactly what the most common, and pressing, cyber security challenges are, often significantly impacting any returns on this investment.

Selecting and deploying the right security technologies is an important first step, but educating your staff, and your board, can prove to be just as challenging. However, this can be rectified more cost effectively.

Keep your board in the loop

Online security processes are often left entirely to the IT department to manage. As little as 30% of senior business leaders have an in-depth of understanding of exactly what online security threats are, which should be a significant cause for concern. More pressingly, 7% have very little or even no understanding of the threats whatsoever.

This is particularly worrying when considering the fact that senior leadership are often the primary target for cyber criminals – in no small part due to the fact that their cyber security knowledge is lacking. This gives cyber criminals the most direct route to sensitive business information or personal data.

Keeping the board in the loop and educating them on what the latest online threats are, how the IT department could mitigate these, and the key things that they should be looking out for will give them a more well-rounded knowledge of cyber security in general, and help to demonstrate the importance of being cyber aware. 

Keep your staff up to speed

Cyber criminals are increasingly resorting to phishing attempts that impersonate board level executives, as well as using phishing PDFs and sites in an effort to target staff members. This method is especially effective against those who may be inexperienced in the role, and can often trick them into divulging sensitive business information.

It's therefore vital that every staff member within your business has the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure the company stays secure. Since many successful cyber-attacks can be the product of carelessness – often opening malware hidden in attachments or clicking suspicious links – it's everybody's responsibility to enact proper due diligence when it comes to cyber security.

Educating staff on best practice, as well as informing them when you are actively stopping potential cyber security threats, can help them to understand the importance of cyber awareness within the company. Something as simple as informing staff on what to look out for when spotting a malicious email can help to nip potential disasters in the bud.

Choose the right security solution

The severity with which malware can affect your business cannot be understated. Indiscriminate cyber-attacks can have potentially devastating consequences for businesses. 

Regardless of the size of your organisation, or the complexity of your operations, it's vital that your business has a thorough cyber security strategy. 

There are many end-to-end service providers out there that can assist your business by taking responsibility for implementing and managing effective security applications within your organisation. As an IT manager, this can help you to avoid the unexpected costs and rigidity that often come with installing and maintaining fixed security solutions internally.

When combined with educating both the board and the staff within your organisation, cyber security becomes a collaborative effort across your business, strengthening your first line of defence and creating a far more secure environment overall. 

About the author: Matt Johnson is Chief Technology Officer at Intercity Technology. With over 25 years' business and technical experience in providing IT solutions, Matt's expertise covers the design, implementation, support and management of complex communications networks.

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