Levels of cybercrime are increasing every year, with hackers becoming more sophisticated and well funded. These facts, coupled with the rising cost of breaches, puts an onus on businesses to ensure that their IT systems are as secure as possible.

Given the rate at which the threat landscape is evolving, many organisations can struggle to keep up. The expense and perceived complexity of safeguarding against the latest threat actors can lead some organisations to put off making much needed improvements.

Cyber security upgrade

Here are six reasons that your business might be ready for a cyber security upgrade.

1. You don’t have visibility of what’s happening inside your network

In isolation, traditional cyber security measures are increasingly ineffective. Firewalls and antivirus software have been relied upon by organisations for years, however they commonly use signature-based detection to identify threats. Hackers are now using polymorphic malware powered by artificial intelligence to evade traditional security controls.

That’s why it is crucial to have visibility of what is happening inside your network. Specialist cloud monitoring technologies provide greater understanding of what is happening within your environments, in order to help detect and respond to threats before they cause damage and disruption.

2. You’re moving infrastructure and services to the cloud

Many businesses are now moving infrastructure and services to the cloud. Doing so can offer a variety of benefits, such as greater scalability, but there are security implications that organisations need to be mindful of. Many people believe that cloud environments are secure by default but this is not the case. Amazon’s Shared Responsibility model, for instance, makes it clear that while Amazon is responsible for physically securing its infrastructure, AWS customers are required to secure their own applications and data.

Moving to the cloud actually creates a wider surface for cyber criminals to attack. Additionally, there many threats now specifically target cloud environments.

3. Your business has more endpoints than ever before

Given the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and increased adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, modern businesses are using more endpoints than ever – all of which are a potential entry point that hackers can use to infiltrate a network.

With recent research indicating that less than half of all firms are able to detect IoT breaches, your business may need to consider improving its endpoint security to provide greater visibility of attacks targeting office and employee devices, as well as help contain and eliminate threats more swiftly and effectively.

Old office setting with large PCs.
photo credit: danielhedrick / Flickr

4. You rely on legacy IT systems

Unfortunately, many businesses still rely on antiquated IT systems for day-to-day operations. For example, many organisations in highly technical industries such as manufacturing still run specialist software that it may not be possible to upgrade or patch. These systems present an enormous security risk.

If your organisation has an IT estate that is difficult to upgrade then it is necessary to find other ways to mitigate the cyber security risks posed. This could include improving network segmentation and access management.

5. You’re planning a business merger or acquisition

Cyber security maturity has become an increasingly important factor for businesses during mergers and acquisitions. A lack of appropriate security controls and procedures can deter potential buyers and investors, and even reducie a company’s valuation.

If you are planning to purchase a business it is absolutely essential that you conduct a thorough cyber security. This is especially important if there is a plan to merge IT systems and share sensitive data with other organisations.

6. You’re unsure if you comply with the latest rules on data security

Many businesses still feel confused about the compliance requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR outlines a number of IT security requirements for organisations, including the need to better protect personal data against accidental loss and/or unauthorised processing. The fines and penalties of failing to comply with the GDPR can be very high, so if unsure about any aspect of the regulation, it’s advisable to seek outside assistance.

And remember that the GDPR is just one example of the difference compliance requirements that are placed on organisations across different industries. It is a good idea to talk with compliance specialists familiar with your industry in order to better understand what you need to do.