For businesses around the world – but particularly those based in the United States – the threat environment in IT has never been more complex. Unfortunately, many businesses build their IT security practices on received wisdom: Assumptions that simply don’t hold up in practice.
Let’s look at ten of the most serious cybersecurity myths.
MYTH: One ultra-effective cybersecurity asset is enough.
Many non-technical businesses focus on firewalls for their IT security needs. Firewalls are the outermost layer of protection, stopping a fraction of automated and unsophisticated attacks. For true online protection, the right technology, training, policies, and personnel must converge.
MYTH: IoT is covered sufficiently by existing cybersecurity protocols.
The Internet of Things – broad interconnectedness of devices that traditionally lacked online capabilities – represents a new horizon of threats. Every IoT-enabled device brings its own idiosyncrasies, necessitating specialized risk assessments that uncover IoT vulnerabilities.
MYTH: Threat assessments are needed only when major technology changes occur.
A comprehensive threat assessment is essential for identifying and hardening key data and business assets. Although threat assessments can be time- and resource-intensive, it’s vital to carry them out regularly – basing their timing on relevant emerging threats and technologies.
MYTH: Third-party consultants and vendors can be trusted to follow best practices.
All enterprises that use third-party vendors, consultants, and other strategic partners should fully integrate that activity into their ongoing risk assessments. It’s easy to imagine that vendors are “out there,” but their access to your data and assets can facilitate an attack on your enterprise.
MYTH: An in-house IT security team is all you need to mitigate most modern threats.
An in-house security team is a sound investment for companies whose resources and focus can support excellence in recruiting, training, and retaining top-tier talent. That said, most firms will need outside assistance to achieve world-class cybersecurity standards and rigorous adherence.
MYTH: Security automation is only used by highly-visible targets like Fortune 500 firms.
Cybersecurity automation is a growing area of investment for companies of all backgrounds and size categories. Automation brings clarity and consistency to IT security implementation, which helps both businesses of massive scope and smaller, less-resourced IT teams.
MYTH: Trained IT professionals hold all the responsibility for cybersecurity.
Although IT pros will develop and implement IT security policy, a rising number of threats are squarely targeted at non-technical stakeholders. The most effective deterrent to many attacks of opportunity is to ensure all stakeholders receive a basic understanding of cybersecurity and their part in it.
MYTH: “Cyber insurance” is only used by firms with sensitive health or financial data.
Cyber insurance – which covers costs associated with addressing and recovering from an IT security breach – has a long way to go before it is mainstream. With the average cost of a breach increasing exponentially across industries, however, early adoption may be advantageous.
MYTH: Post-attack remediation can be ignored as long as you invest in IT defenses.
The balance between prevention, detection, and mitigation looks different for each enterprise, but attacks occur with such frequency that some breaches are inevitable. Good post-attack remediation practices can uncover security holes and potentially prevent future attacks along similar lines.
MYTH: It’s unnecessary to re-evaluate security tools as long as they’re updated regularly.
Ideally, providers of enterprise IT software should ensure it’s always aligned with the modern threat environment. That said, it’s important to maintain communication with vendors, bring them to the table as needed, and even look at alternatives if their products no longer meet your needs.
NCA helps enterprises of all sizes enjoy the benefits of world-class cybersecurity.
With Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) services from NCA, it is easier than ever for companies of all industries, size categories, and geographies to benefit from true security expertise.