Once upon a time, businesses needed to take light cybersecurity precautions to ward off amateur hackers. A business owner may have recruited their tech-savvy nephew to protect their system, barely worrying about the risk. Today, the world of cybersecurity has done a 180 — it’s now a top concern for businesses. As businesses swiftly adapt to the changing digital environment, new technology means more cybersecurity concerns.
Businesses are now using new tech for an assortment of needs, from the recruitment process to audience discovery and beyond. On top of that, as consumers continue to shop online and use the internet to store all sorts of personal information, hackers have only grown in their knowledge and resourcefulness to create clever, threatening ways to attack businesses. And for good reason: Uncovering financial and health information is worth a lot of money for hackers.
The Demand for Cybersecurity Specialists
Cybersecurity professionals are in incredibly high demand right now. Experts predict that by the year 2021, as many as 3.5 million cybersecurity positions will be unfilled. That means a lot of businesses will be exposed to potentially ruinous risk.
The internet of things (IoT) has created more opportunities for employees and consumers to stay connected through an assortment of tools, from smartphones to smart home appliances. Every time another device connects to the internet, another security risk opens up. When valuable personal information is transmitted, those devices and connections become gold mines for hackers.
Additionally, any business that has some type of online presence, whether it’s a customer-facing retail store or employees who use an internal, internet-connected system, needs cybersecurity services. Certain industries have even more of a pressing need than others:
- Government agencies
- Tech companies
These industries deal in high levels of personal information that, if a hacker accessed it, would be detrimental to the business as well as its customers.
How Do Cybersecurity Experts Protect Businesses?
In 2014, Sony Pictures was the target of a major cybersecurity attack. According to Michael Lynton, chief executive, “There's no playbook for this, so you are, in essence, trying to look at the situation as it unfolds and make decisions without being able to refer to a lot of experiences you've had in the past or other people's experiences. You're on completely new ground.”
This is a common sentiment, but it may be unfounded. Even five years ago, cybersecurity pros noted that Sony should have, and could have, been better prepared.
When you decide to go into the field of cybersecurity, you may opt to head back to school for specialized training. By doing this, you’ll learn the latest requirements and expectations for working in the cybersecurity field, which will put you in a better position to get hired. Here’s are just some of the ways that cybersecurity experts protect businesses. Experts can:
- Train the company's employees so everyone understands security guidelines. This can include how to create strong passwords and best practices for using the internet.
- Maintain clean machines so they’re protected from cyberattacks. Make sure that all devices have up-to-date security software and operating systems.
- Setup and manage firewall security for in-house employees as well as anyone working remotely or using additional devices. The firewall is what keeps hackers from accessing the network.
- Give valuable advice to your web design team, including when it may be time to do a site design overhaul. Signs of security risks may include excessive spam emails being sent to customers in your email subscriber lists, unexplained slow load times, and excessive technical issues. Site overhauls are occasionally needed to improve web security for your users and protect customer data — and they can improve the user experience as well.
- Create a mobile security plan that includes encrypting data, adding security apps to devices and using passwords to protect information. This keeps hackers from stealing information from devices and also protects information if the device is lost or stolen.
- Run data backups every week, if not more often. These backups keep an extra log of critical files and documents.
There may never be a solution that’s 100 percent safe (though blockchain technology is making systems highly impenetrable). Businesses should be concerned about making their systems safer than before by hiring high-level cybersecurity professionals who are committed to keeping up with evolving threats.
Cybersecurity Platforms and Technology
Cybersecurity professionals use robust technology platforms to keep businesses safe in every way possible. The main goal of cybersecurity is to prevent problems. One way to do this is through filters and monitors that block malware delivered via email. According to Chris Grundemann of Myriad Supply, the top thing businesses can do to protect themselves is have top-notch identity security. This means advanced security measures for any and all employees who have access to the system.
When a threat gets through prevention controls, cybersecurity tech has to track the attack, send alerts for specific behaviors, and offer ways to stop the hack in its tracks. In order to set up the best processes to handle the threats that slip through the cracks, cybersecurity teams have to know the business’ top threats. It’s also useful to keep separate modules in the system so that if one gets hacked, the others remain safe.
Businesses want their cybersecurity team to have a boring job. The best scenario is that they show up every day, monitor the system, run reports, and spot and stop potential threats before anything happens. The only way to get to that point, and to be prepared in the event of an unexpected attack, is to hire the pros who can keep you safe.