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Investing In Cybersecurity




Cyber risk has emerged as a significant threat for the functioning of the financial system in the recent decades. The Telstra Security Report 2018 cited estimates that cybercrime damages will cost the world a staggering US $ 6 trillion annually by 2021. Moreover, in the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report by Cybersecurity Ventures is mentioned that a business is already a victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds starting from this year and will become every 11 seconds by 2021.


 

Given the vulnerability of the financial system to hacker attacks and the growing number of cyber threats, one of the key decisions in this case is investing enough money in cybersecurity to provide a high level of information security and the establishment of proper cybersecurity management for employees. It is worth to point three tools that outline cybersecurity in the digitalisation era.


Penetration Testing

Pen testers check the strength of the cybersecurity by simulating cyber-attacks on the company but without introducing risks for the company and its customers. It allows to detect realistic weaknesses in company’s defense system and to mitigate them before they get exploited by malicious hackers.

For instance, a pen tester can check the outer layers of cybersecurity in a way how a typical hacker would approach it, which provides a thorough assessment of security.


Alternatively, the pen tester can assess security system from the inside by inspecting software configuration, IT infrastructure and security practices used in the company. Moreover, the tester may simulate a phishing attack to incline the employees (via email or any other communication channel) to disclose confidential information, credentials or simply to provide access to the company intranet. Such type of testing not only detects the weaknesses in the software but is a good way of employee training as well.


Cloud Security

Offloading infrastructure to cloud providers allows companies to maintain their focus and budget on their business goals, while using a mature IT infrastructure maintained by professionals.


Using the cloud solutions can be a relief from such security problems as: denial-of-service attacks are mitigated by cloud providers having a stable and powerful infrastructure; software security is provided by continuous software upgrades; default configuration is often adequate from the security perspective; transparent monitoring allows to identify suspicious behavior; security settings allow clear control over access levels.


However, these benefits come along with some security risks. For instance, your data is stored at the remote location, which adds an extra step to access it. Cloud services usually have their own authentication, which is configurable but ultimately not controlled by you. However, this type of risk could be mitigated by using multi-factor authorisation to the cloud.


Cloud providers deliver different security levels: from machines shared by unknown customers up to secure vaults dedicated to your company. Secure vaults guarantee that your data is only accessible to you, and that machines are separated from the rest of cloud servers. Besides, secure vaults allow companies to meet regulatory requirements on data at rest and data in motion.


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Suspicious behavior can be hard to detect on a massive scale, and automatic detection tools are limited in their capabilities. Machine Learning allows to extend and improve detection of suspicious behavior. One of the recent innovations that allows real-time monitoring and attack prevention is detecting cyber-attacks by analyzing access logs using Machine Learning.

 

Digital transformation can make you more secure if you build in cybersecurity into business processes from the start, and in this case the core concept of a defense system should be automated, targeted and display low latency of information sharing.


For example, offloading infrastructure to the cloud solves several problems, such as hardware maintenance, licensing of server software, scaling on demand etc. If to think in advance about reducing the likelihood of company facing financial losses due to cyberattacks, artificial intelligence will enable to protect customers from fraud, advance the cybersecurity and strengthen brand image as an innovative company.


Thus, companies investing time and resources into a strong, reliable cybersecurity strategy — are investments well made as it protects most valuable business assets, reduces security threats and solidifies company reputation. In the outcome it will not only increase productivity of the company but as well boost trust of the clients.    


April 12th 2019

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