Our culture is almost entirely wireless. With the added convenience it brings there is also a heightened element of risk. Storing information on company servers, cloud services and internet technologies, and the general trend of social media all expose both individuals and companies to cyber-security risks. It is an integral part of our economy and is here to stay.
The legislation is racing to fortify ranks against cyber crime- many companies are investing more into cyber protection and implementing social media policies. However, with technology that moves as rapidly as ours does today, it is natural that currently, we are lagging behind, both in our understanding and responses.
First off, the key is to understand what is behind the cyber threats. Most data breaches (98%, according to a recent Verizon study), stem from external agents rather than internal employees. Most involved some sort of hacking or malware. And 79% of hackings were targets of opportunity- meaning your Florida Business was most likely not specifically targeted but was hacked because the opportunity presented itself. Of the breaches that occurred last year, 97% were avoidable through simple or intermediate controls.
Then there is a worrisome trend of digital hubris. Where some companies are unaware of the depth of the risk, still others are overconfident. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that almost half of the respondents said they had confidence in their current security protocols and were “bullish” about cyber security spending.
The New York Times recently highlighted an article on steps companies can take to establish a security policy to stay vigilant on monitoring cyber-threats and a response plan on how to deal with them. A culture of disclosure is key. Establish a social media policy that governs employee’s use of tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn in the workplace. The more your employees are aware of threats and their own online vulnerabilities, the easier they can protect their interests and the interests of the companies.