What Price Cyber Security?
Written by: Avi Rosenthal, Partner, bluesalve partners
By now we've all heard the horror stories. Credit card and social security numbers hacked and stolen by the millions. Businesses held hostage and hospitals shut down by cyber ransom. Creepy videos fed to young children that parents thought were safe in their smart home. Sad to say, cybercrime is big business. Which makes us wonder why cybersecurity isn't a bigger part of everyone's business.
How Deep Is Your Problem?
It was challenging enough to keep networks safe when they were relatively self-contained at one or more fixed business locations. However, in a post-pandemic world of remote work and greater stay-at-home time, vulnerabilities multiply every day. The situation is particularly daunting for companies involved in IoT solutions for homes or business. A smart home installation "maintained" by a consumer is already a soft entry point for malevolence. Whose responsibility is it to keep these networks secure? The consumer's? The broadband provider's? Yours?
Deeper Than You Thought
Ordinary consumers and employees aren't an equal match for a determined hacker, even when they do take the right precautions. Unfortunately, they usually don't and the statistics are alarming. Surveys show that 1 in 5 consumer Wi-Fi networks aren't secure; to this day, "admin" and "password" are both still in heavy rotation. Another 1 in 4 devices are infected with malware, 20% of smart home objects aren't secure, and 3 out of 5 computers have no anti-virus protection. Education and self-help obviously haven't hit the mark.
Cybersecurity needs to be a core competency for every organization that's connected to the Internet. Unlike other tangential business skills made necessary by the digital revolution, such as content development and SEO marketing, a gap in this department can, and usually will, have disastrous impact. The question isn't so much a matter of "if," but "how." Do you build or buy?
Time For a Third Party?
Many businesses will ultimately have to face the fact that developing in-house security departments are likely impractical and beyond their reach. Hacking (and hackers) never sleep. Do you have the resources to attract the expertise needed to keep up with them? Can you bring in enough skills to service your entire workforce or customer base? Through-the-roof demand for cybersecurity experts makes it difficult to find talent and even harder to retain it. What to do?
According to a recent Deloitte survey, some 99% of C-level executive are already outsourcing their cybersecurity work. Security operations, vulnerability management, physical security and awareness and training top the list of provided protections. That figure is misleading though, because the average percentage of outsourced services clocked in at only 20-30% of defensive needs.
What about the other 70-80%? Is your company feeling lucky? Or is it time for you to take cyberthreats more seriously? There are worse things to end up on your system (and your customer's) than a request for help transferring winning lottery funds out of foreign banks.
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