Forrester Research recently predicted that President-elect Donald Trump would face a major cyber crisis within the first 100 days of his presidency. While we can’t yet know if that will prove true, other recent events point to a high likelihood and broad implications for U.S. businesses. Consider this – in the past 12 months, we’ve seen major DDoS attacks, the DNC email leak and subsequent resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, personal email hacks of major political and business figures, and an increasingly fragile geopolitical situation.
What these examples all point to is the fact that the American people, businesses, and economy all are targets for cyber attacks. Particularly during a time when our political environment is in transition, the economy is experiencing major swings, and businesses are looking to a new year, it’s natural to hone in on our personal risk. So we thought we’d do that here.
Ask yourself, what if a cyber attack caused your network to go down. How would it affect you? How would it affect your productivity and ability to provide a service or sell a product?
Our HORNE Cyber team has posited that unless a significant economic event is caused by cybercriminals, government efforts are going to be focused on cyber espionage and potential attacks on critical infrastructure. What that means is that you shoulder the burden of protecting your organization. It also means you need to have a plan for how you will mitigate risk, including knowing who you will partner with to protect yourself, your clients, and your sensitive data.
Do you have a plan for staying ahead of cyber threat?
An integral part of staying ahead of the threat is taking an offensive, proactive approach to cybersecurity. Keep in mind that cybersecurity is a business issue – not just an IT issue, and not the sole responsibility of your CISO. How your organization handles a data breach impacts your reputation, trustworthiness, and bottom line. Your data has business value. You must know where the sensitive information resides in your organization and how it is used to develop and deliver your products and services. And the source of the threat doesn’t matter as much as your ability to create and sustain bulwarks against any external or internal threat.
Techniques like advanced penetration testing and active network monitoring have become vital components of business strategy and operations – particularly for those organizations (like banks) that manage large amounts of private information. These measures are your best bet for keeping track of what’s happening across the network. Building a practice of troubleshooting and making sure your security is watertight requires access to reliable security analytics tools and partnerships with security experts who can engage a hacker’s mindset to keep you a step ahead.
Active network monitoring allows you to gain full situational awareness by putting an extra set of eyes on your network. Services like the HORNE Cybersecurity Operations Center become part of your overall cybersecurity posture by providing expertise and insight into the security events that happen to your organization.
That seasoned, constant oversight is important because your cybersecurity posture is dynamic. Technology is always changing, and so is the threat landscape. Fluidity adds vulnerability. You can lower your susceptibility to an attack during the time between penetration tests by remaining alert how well your entire network is protected. By actively monitoring the network, your organization also develops the critical knowledge it needs to keep cyber resilience efforts agile and productive.
Do you know where your vulnerabilities exist? Are you confident that you would know if your organization is under attack - before it’s too late? Do you have the proper technology and experience in place to build resilience against an adversary? As your institution is keeping watch on the political and economic shifts over the coming months, and as you’re performing your strategy sessions for the year ahead, ask these questions. And don’t hesitate to call on HORNE for the answers. Our Banking and Cyber professionals work closely to address the unique cyber risks inherent in this industry. We can give you access to the resources and knowledge you need to protect your bank, your customers, and your peace of mind.
Join the conversation and receive updates of new posts:
 Cybersecurity Takes Center Stage In US Presidential Election, Stephanie Balaouras; Forrester Research, July 2016