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Cyber Threats-The Dark Side of Digital Transformation

Do you remember when times were simple and security meant locking your doors at night and teaching kids to be weary of strangers on the street? As the analog world has made the nearly 360-degree shift to digital, the question of security has evolved. We are worried about our mobile devices, laptops, televisions and even our kids connected toys being turned against us. The consequences to businesses left unprotected can be fatal. The kind of disruption no one wants. Digital Transformation and the Internet of Things has become the ultimate double-edged sword and while the positive attributes of the third industrial revolution are stunning, a new, sinister, silent predator has arrived alongside it.

A large percentage of small and medium-sized businesses are lacking in adequate network security and we’d like to change that. Read on to find out the basics of what you and your customers can do to become more secure now and into the future

Put as much energy into Security as you do Sales and Marketing.

Most organizations invest dollars and time in advanced sales and marketing processes and strategies (as they should). Why not treat network security the same way? Investing in Security at the front end of your business may help to prevent a costly cleanup down the road. Instead of lamenting over the cost of security, consider the harm a breach would bring to your business, like lost revenue, and what you will save by making the investment up front.


Your own team is the best line of defense.

Cyber attacks are often the result of simple human error. Your organization may have advanced security measures in place but a misdirected file or faulty click can bring the whole thing tumbling down. Educating your team through security training creates awareness of best practices and will decrease the number of easily preventable errors made by employees.


Build a comprehensive Security policy.

Every business must build a comprehensive security policy. Your policy will contain rules describing how security will be implemented within the organization and should define the roles and responsibilities of administrators, users and managers. I’m sure you’ve got policies in place for every other aspect of your business, why not throw another onto the pile. Your security policy may prove to be a lifesaver.


Keep your network up-to-date.

Out-of-date network equipment can leave your business open to cyber attacks. Hackers have a way of sniffing out vulnerable businesses so don’t let them find yours. Update your equipment and keep all approved applications refreshed with the latest patches when released.


Maintain an inventory of your network devices.

To secure network devices you’ve got to first learn what and where they are. Build and uphold a checklist of all network components and devices. Keep track of device names and types, where they are located and who among your team is responsible for them. Half the battle is in knowing what you’ve got and where you can find it.


Use strong passwords and change them frequently.

We’ve been told this a thousand times yet people still don’t seem to get it. You’ve got to create strong passwords and change them. Often. What constitutes a strong password? A strong password is one that will be difficult to detect by both humans and computers, it must be at the very least 6 characters and use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Yes, it’s an annoying aspect of digital life but one we must contend with.


Gain visibility and control with Cisco AMP.

One of the most reliable ways for businesses to improve their network security is to employ an endpoint security solution. Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) provides the visibility and control your business needs to prevent and defeat advanced attacks. AMP will give your organization global threat intelligence, real-time malware blocking to prevent a breach and advanced sandboxing. Cisco AMP continually analyzes file activity across your network so you can quickly and easily find, contain and remove advanced malware.

Age-old concerns about strangers and locked doors still exist but the added complexity of Digitization has changed the game in security at home and in the office. Your organization must view security along with Digital Transformation as a non-negotiable matter of survival. Fortunately with some basic steps and education you can protect yours and your customers business from potentially fatal cyber attacks. If you’d like to know more about cyber threats and Cisco Advanced Malware Protection get in touch or leave a comment below.