IT vs. Cyberattacks – The Struggle is Real

IT Cyberattack

Every business, regardless of its nature and size, is a potential target for cyberattacks. Organizations today are aware of the alarming rate at which cybercrimes are growing, and its affects – financial loss, damage to reputation, decrease in brand value, etc. No organization today can claim that they are 100% secure from cybercrimes. So, who takes care of the organization’s security? Primarily, the IT department.

However, having a good IT department in place does not suffice. IT managers today have their share of struggles as they fight cybercrimes.

Why do IT managers struggle to combat Cybercrimes?

  • Multi-Staged Attacks: In an attempt to augment the organization’s security, IT managers generally deploy multiple security measures such as MFA, biometrics, stringent password protocols, etc. and cybercriminals are executing their attacks in tune with the organization’s security policies. They no more resort to just one way of attacking; their attacks are multi-staged as well. They try hacking, phishing, credential stuffing, password spraying in the same attempt, leaving IT managers confused about how exactly they were breached.
  • Poor Security Culture: IT managers usually have a difficult time explaining that cybercrime is not an IT risk; it is a business risk. Although the IT managers ensure that everyone from the C-level executives to the interns of the organization is following security protocols, some employees do not religiously follow the IT department’s word of advice, and this paves the way to massive cyber-attacks. In fact, according to a study, the biggest cybersecurity risk to US businesses is employee negligence.
  • DDoS Attack: Say, your company released a new product, and the website has all the information about it. You see a sudden surge in your website traffic and assume the traffic is coming from interested customers. However, there is a possibility that it is not legit traffic but DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack – a malicious attempt to interrupt normal server traffic by creating a flood of internet traffic. IT managers often find it difficult to differentiate between legit traffic and DDoS attack.
  • Managing Remote Access: Working from home or on-the-go is certainly beneficial to the employees. However, managing remote employees and their access can be daunting for IT managers, especially when remote employees do not follow security protocols such as connecting to a VPN or opting for MFA on their devices. Back in 2011, remote access risks were responsible for 88% of all hacking breaches and 95% of malware incidents, and even as of today; there is a great potential of data theft or breaches when employees do not conform to remote access security best practices.
  • Budget: Undoubtedly, with an investment in security systems and solutions to prevent cybercrimes, the organization is sure to achieve a high ROI. The IT managers know the kind of security solutions, software, and systems that should be deployed that best suits the organization, they present their costs of implementation accordingly. However, at times, the leadership at the organization may want to optimize the IT budget; this may sometimes result in the non-implementation of critical systems or solutions that could be extremely important for the organization’s security. This again brings back the burden of manual governance of security on IT managers.
  • Shortage of cybersecurity skills: Given how cybercrimes are increasing in number, one would only think that skilled cybersecurity professionals in every organization are hired aplenty. But, surprisingly, this is not true! This is one of the major struggles IT managers face- shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. According to a global study, 31% of the respondents indicated shortage of security analysis & investigations skills, 31% indicated a shortage of application security skills and 29% claimed shortage of cloud computing security skills. The hackers are getting smarter and are coming up with improvised hacking methods using the latest technologies and cybersecurity professionals lagging to fight cybercrimes with a lack of adequate training and security skills.

The time and effort that IT managers need to put in ensuring comprehensive organizational security will always be an on-going process. But certain protocols that will surely make this process a less daunting one.

What should IT managers do?

  • Implement good cyber hygiene habits: Deciding upon and implementing good cyber hygiene habits such as regularly updating software, using quality anti-virus, creating stringent password management practices, creating awareness about security and types of data breaches across the organization, using MFA, taking regular back-ups, adopting latest cybersecurity trends, etc. streamlines cybersecurity management and eases the IT managers’ struggle with cybercrimes to a great extent.
  • Avail Cyber Insurance: The IT managers can talk to the leadership at the organization about availing cyber insurance as cybercrimes sometimes cost a fortune. In 2017, Equifax, the US consumer credit reporting agency, fell victim to a massive data breach due to authorized access to data of around 145.5 million Americans and 15.2 million UK customers. The immediate cost of the breach was a whopping $449 million! In such an event, cyber insurance can help the organization offset the expenses of a data breach (subject to insurance terms and conditions, of course).
  • Mandate IT policies: Certain IT policies should be made obligatory for everyone- from the top management to remote employees. Policies related to passwords, use of systems/devices, data back-up, BYODs, remote access, etc. should be strictly adhered to. Most of the time, simple yet stringent IT policies, when followed diligently, drastically reduces the chances of data breaches and incredibly improves an organization’s security.

Achieve Optimal Security with Ilantus
The digital world is prone to data breaches every now and then, Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a blessing in disguise that helps in combating cybercrimes and helps an organization achieve optimal security.

Ilantus’ Compact Identity is a comprehensive IAM product offering robust capabilities such as Access Management, Identity Governance and Administration, Privileged Access Management, business to consumer functions, endpoint to mobile management, personalized dashboards, high powered analytics, and business intelligence.

Drop-in a line at inquiry@ilantus.com to know more about deploying compact Identity.

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