A Message from Director of Client Experience Daryl Stitt (@StittDaryl)

Twenty years ago, cyber security was a mere footnote within IT and has been a balancing act between productivity and protection for most companies. Fast forward to 2018 and that luxury of limited attack vectors has withered away. Comprehensive security plans and practices are now mandatory. A multi-faceted layered defense is critical to reducing and eliminating your exposure to today’s targeted, complex, and automated cyber threats.

In fact, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty has stated, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” Billionaire businessman Warren Buffet took it a step further and said cyberattacks are the number one problem with mankind, even worse than nuclear weapons. Now, I don’t necessarily adopt Buffet’s hyperbole, but without a doubt the impact that cybercrime is having on people and businesses worldwide is staggering. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime damage costs are estimated to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.

So with all this doom and gloom, what can businesses do to protect themselves?

There is no single magic solution to protect from every cyber threat, but having a layered approach and plan to protect every component of your environment is a good start. This includes having the latest updates on every technology component, an email filtering solution, hardened servers, limited ingress and egress points, and secure connectivity between endpoints – even within your own network.

Having a strong password policy and dual authentication into administration functions should be common practices in today’s environment. In the event that a cyberattack is successful, taking the layered approach further is crucial. Business executives and technology professionals should have a comprehensive disaster recovery, business contingency and threat response action plan in place.

Not only does your technology have to become ‘hardened’, but so do your employees. Every technology and office worker needs to be involved in protecting and defending apps, data, devices and infrastructure from nefarious activity. You can have strong technical security, but if your employees are prone to unsafe practices or are uneducated about social engineering tactics, you are leaving the barn door wide open. So, sound computing and social engineering educational plans should be another layer on your cyber security checklist.

If you are a business leader and you don’t have an explicitly detailed comprehensive security, disaster recovery and business contingency action and response plan in place, you may want to ensure your resume is up to date. Harsh? Possibly, but cyber security should be taken extremely seriously. If a cyberattack compromises your business’ intellectual property, holds your data hostage or exposes sensitive client information, the reality will be harsh. In the face of a $6 trillion annual threat, maybe Warren Buffet was right.

With diligent planning, cyber threats can be mitigated. Remember the old adage, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” So I urge you, take steps to ensure that your business has a comprehensive plan in place. It may even get you promoted!

If you are interested in a high-level cybersecurity overview or deep-dive discussion, we at RapidScale are here to partner with you. Please contact us at sales@rapidscale.net or check out our recent webinar: Avoid Cyber Threats with CloudSecurity, where we recently dove into these topics and more! For any further customer webinars, you can register here!