Taking Protection Beyond Cybersecurity Advisory Services
Cybersecurity includes the monitoring and hardening of computer systems and networks to protect data, system integrity and resources. The discipline includes protecting against common vulnerabilities such as known backdoors, denial of service attacks, phishing, spoofing, social engineering, privilege escalation, direct access attacks and eavesdropping. When taking into account the growing internet of things (IoT) trend and the fact that we are increasingly surrounded by internet-connected devices, you can think of cybersecurity as covering nearly all digital devices. Even watches, doorbells, thermostats, lights, security systems, and kitchen appliances fall into the category of connected devices and can fall into the cybersecurity realm. We have already seen examples of how these often neglected IoT devices have been used in larger attacks.
Today there isn’t much in our lives that takes place without the usage, aid, or knowledge of network-connected devices making cybersecurity awareness paramount in our personal lives as well as our business lives. Due to the proliferation of bring your own device policies (BYOD), there isn’t always a clear distinction between our personal data and business data. Through lengthy privacy policies and end-user license agreements, we have given permission to Google, Facebook, Apple and others to constantly monitor our locations, record our conversations, and track our every action online. As TechCrunch reported last year, many major companies like Expedia, Air Canada, and Hollister are secretly recording every tap and swipe you make on your phone. So even when using secure in-transit connections such as VPN or SSL, much of your data can still be freely accessible through unencrypted screens, keyboards and microphones if you aren’t taking the proper steps.
There is little chance to escape the fact that our daily lives depend on a stable, safe and resilient cyberspace. An effective cybersecurity program developed through cybersecurity advisory services will establish a policy groundwork covering incident management, risk management, third-party management, regulatory and audit compliance.
An advisory service stops there. However, a robust cybersecurity program requires going beyond advisory services into implementation, management and ongoing policy review. This is the realm of a managed security service provider (MSSP). An MSSP integrates the critical roles of Security Analyst, Security Engineer, Security Administrator, Security Architect as well as potential C-level positions of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Chief Security Officer (CSO). With the constantly expanding breadth and depth of the cybersecurity field, these individual roles and specific disciplines round out the security team allowing for the oversight needed to mitigate risk and respond to threats. Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with problematic shortages in finding qualified individuals to fill the demand. This is why many organizations turn to an MSSP to outsource many of these roles.
So as businesses continue to collect, store and transmit more sensitive data, they increasingly rely on computer systems, wireless networks, IoT devices and the internet to leverage that data. That data and those computer systems are inherently targets in today’s contemporary world. And the well-protected business goes beyond the advisory services necessary to initiate a cybersecurity program but also establishes a qualified team for implementation.