2021 is going to see arguably the biggest leap in digitalisation in decades. With the global pandemic pushing online business forward drastically and a rapid adoption of new artificial intelligence tools, everyone is becoming more dependent on software, hardware and cloud infrastructure, but of course, it comes with a catch.
The greater dependence on digital and integration of newer, untested technologies means increased threats and more challenges, including cyberattacks, ransomware, and DDoS attacks.
Business leaders need to acknowledge that cybersecurity is not only a security priority, but a core business priority. In today’s complex and distributed business environment, one needs to adapt to combat silent attackers that are technically savvy.
In order to achieve this, businesses will have to act quickly and develop policies and offer training on a large scale.
As we’ve come to know, cyberattacks have no borders or boundaries. To a cybercriminal, any business, no matter where you are in the world, is fair game. This puts client and customer data at risk, and therefore businesses need to adhere to a growing number and increasingly complex system of regulations and rules, such as the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA) and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Whilst trying to comply with all these complex legislations, rules and regulations, companies still have to defend and protect against cyberattacks, therefore, policies must help increase protection but also reduce regulatory complexity.
IDC predicts that by 2025 there will about 55 billion connected devices worldwide, 75 percent of which will be connected to an IoT platform. Business leaders need to understand that they operate in an ecosystem that is more extensive and less certain than they may think.
Any ecosystem is only as strong as its weakest link. The fact that there are only a few key players in the tech space globally, provides easy access for criminals throughout the digital supply chain.
Business leaders need to realise the breadth of their exposure and what it really means to be protected. They will have to assess the extent of their entire attack surface and their resilience to cyber threats. To ensure there is an acceptable level of visibility and understanding of digital assets, one requires a cross-collaborative and inclusive process involving teams from various business units.
Ransomware is growing at an alarming rate, businesses must have preventative measures for ransomware or any other cyber-attacks. They need to be prepared for the worst, make sure there is always continuity of operations. Data needs to backed-up correctly for any disruptions to computer systems, and key staff need to be trained with a realistic cyber response plan.
Businesses that have a cybersecurity plan and improve their cybersecurity infrastructure, are more likely to be successful. Rather than considering cybersecurity as a liability, they view it as an enabler to everyday operations
To take advantage of the promises of digitalisation, businesses will have to increase their focus on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity must by default be part of every business security decision and it should include a proactive plan to establish a cybersecurity workforce. Cybersecurity expertise is scarce, businesses should consider cultivating these skills organically.
While it might seem obvious, there are still some organisations that aren’t protecting themselves from these ever-evolving threats; and protecting your business and brand should be top of mind.
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