Insider information. Cyberespionage. Ransomware. Massive DDoS attacks. 2017 was a rough year for cybersecurity - and if we don’t change things, 2018 promises to be even rougher.
In order to protect ourselves against the coming tide of potentially-devastating cyberattacks, we’re going to need to evaluate and reexamine what we do to protect our businesses and their data. That starts with better data hygiene. You need to know what assets are critical to your business and what hackers are likely to target.
More importantly, you need to know where that data is located. By taking stock of high-value assets within your organization, you can better determine where you’re most vulnerable. Mind you, it isn’t enough to solely know what data is valuable.
You also need to understand how it’s shared and used on your networks. How it’s being used by third parties such as vendors and partners. What devices it’s on, and what devices it might be on.
Who has access to each sensitive file? How are they accessing, using, and sharing that file? Where is that file stored, and how is access controlled? How is that file managed, monitored, and protected?
By answering all these questions, you can both establish protective measures for your data and figure out a baseline of normal behavior that can be used to watch for and detect unusual usage that may indicate an attack.
There are a few tools and systems you can use to shore up your security in that regard.
Cybersecurity practices need to change - that should go without saying. As new risks to your business’s data emerge, you’re going to need to change how you protect your organization. That starts with better understanding the flow of information throughout, from workstations to connected endpoints to mobile devices.
With that understanding, you’ll be well-equipped to move forward into a new digital era.