It’s October, and for those in the field of cyber security (digital security), we know of this month as a special milestone in the eighteenth year of the twenty-first century. For those of you new to it, October marks fifteen years since the launch of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). In the wake of digitalization, and an effort to secure our future, let’s look back at what brought us here today.
Complexity of Threats
Cyber Threats have also faced evolutionary progress over the years, moving from basic attacks that could impact no more than one device to complicated attacks against networks. In the age of digitalization and digital security, traditional security methodologies simply aren’t enough.
Trace back to thirty years, and the heads of IT held job roles of enviable proportions in comparison to their younger counterparts from the modern era. Don’t take it the wrong way, their job was by no means a walk in the park, but there was a certain simplicity attached to it, given the small number of devices that needed protection.
With a sharp increase in digital transformation initiatives and the general idea of digitization, organizations are now driven toward becoming more adaptable and agile. This led to a surge in the number of endpoints and potential ways for cyber attackers to gain access to enterprise networks, making the cyber battlefield more evolved and more complex than ever before.
Cyber Security teams today are forced into a position to devise new tactics to fend against advanced cyber threats that target their increasingly interconnected enterprise networks. In the early days, cyber warfare stood as a concern for the IT department, but the widely reported breach at Sony in 2014 placed cybercrime at the top of the business agenda. The incident helped organizations realize that a compromise, attack, or breach in defenses could severely impact business performance, in worse cases – brand perception, and even the financial bottom line.
What this realization meant was that cyber security had become an enterprise-wide issue that required risk management and addressing, a business priority. But even after the Sony attack, digital security still hadn’t established the level of concern that it receives today. The more recent attacks warrant that praise, especially the crippling WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware outbreaks.
For example, in WannaCry’s case, the cyber attack affected giant organizations, namely – Telefonica, NHS, and other multinational corporations, to devastating effect. Additionally, there are changes in regulation and compliance requirements that highlight why digital security must stand at the top of the business agenda – not just for the board, but every other employee and supplier.
With this in mind, there have been a couple of key shifts with respect to the evolution of cyber security.
Beyond the Realm of IT
Cyber/Digital Security is no longer just the concern of the IT department, it impacts an organization in its entirety with an expansive view – local, regional, and global perspectives. It holds the power to break down silos that organizations operate within, encouraging cross-department interactions to identify assets that need protecting. This reduces the impact of a future attack, playing into the broader idea of cyber threat intelligence, even.
Adaptive or agile organizations that are now leveraging digital transformation initiatives assess how they use or implement security as well – linking it back to business objectives to enable disruptive business models.
Cyber Security at the Core of Innovation
Cyber Security no longer hinders the adoption of innovative technologies or new processes and stands instead as the front and center of innovative expeditions in the new digital world. It is accelerating speed of service, enabling a wider, more seamless and secure access to data in the Internet of Things (IoT) and more. We say at the core of innovation because digital security is now a pre-requisite, built into new technologies and devices from the outset.
Cyber Security: Smarter, Faster, Stronger
Agility and speed are not the only assets needed for a stellar cyber security program; in 2018, it also requires being smart and more effective – especially in the face of reduced budgets. Today, managing security involves the gathering, synthesis, and analysis of security data as a standard. It’s no longer about data, but what the data tells us.
In addition, the next generation of digital security services is geared to include providers that can leverage insights and cyber threat intelligent services within a global network. This will even go as far as to separate those with the expertise to deliver intelligent insights, and those who collect data.
What’s the Future?
Innovation and digitization are not set to stop any time soon and is instead slated to continue and grow at an exponential and business critical pace. Bearing this in mind, businesses ought to embrace next generation technologies and define strategies that exceed customer experience on a regular basis, securely.
But several organizations are still missing a core foundation of security tools and processes; this is evidenced further by Verizon’s 2018 cyber threat intelligence report, which reveals that the same tactics are still effective in infiltrating data.
Businesses are no longer reactive, and that’s a positive approach in the face of increasing cybercrime. Organizations aren’t looking to make headlines by becoming victims, and success in the future is going to be a measure of how companies plan the improvement of their cyber security systems.