Your company faces potential threats every day from hackers and
online criminals. Whether they are interested in stealing money,
absconding with information, or just harassing and creating
embarrassment for your organization, you need to be prepared to
stop them. While you can gain a measure of protection by investing
in antivirus and anti-malware software, your cybersecurity strategy needs to be built into
your technological infrastructure. Investing now in a sound,
broad-based approach to cybersecurity concerns can save you
headaches, customers, and money.
Your Legal Risks
According to the 2015 Global Risks Report from the World
Economic Forum, the risk of cyberattacks, both in frequency and in
severity, is only growing. As the devices and networks involved in
what you do every day become more complex, more data is at risk,
and there are more points of attack where cyberattacks can create
problems for you.
The problems themselves can be severe. Under Europe's new
General Data Protection Regulation, companies have duties not only
to protect their customers' information but to respond and
report quickly in the event of a breach. Failures in either area
can result in large fines and other sanctions against the company.
Further, failure to protect private or confidential information can
lead to lawsuits against your organization for negligence, breach
of privacy, or breach of contract when contractual obligations
include the protection of confidentiality for customers or trade
Creating the Right Cybersecurity Strategy
With the risks involved, creating a comprehensive strategy to
combat cyberattacks is critical for your organization. This should
begin with mapping and analyzing your entire system, identifying
how and why data is stored.
Beyond this, your strategy should include testing to identify
potential vulnerabilities. Scan your system constantly for evidence
of existing infiltration. Work with programming experts who can
attempt to breach your defenses, and can then create patches to
eliminate those weaknesses before a cyberattack can occur.
On top of that, you must have in place the means and personnel
to handle a cyber-attack crisis, if your system is breached. This
should include, of course, what is required in order to repair the
breach and end the data leakage, but also public relations experts
and lawyers, in order to handle the crisis and what will most
likely immediately follow – reputational issues, possible
loss of business as well as lawsuits. And all of this must be
handled in a quick and efficient manner; any delay has the
potential to create catastrophic damage to your business.
Preparing your company to prevent cyberattacks and what happens
after them represents one of the most important security
investments you can make.
Originally published October 18, 2016
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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