Scrupulous or Negligent: How Does Your Business Measure up to Cybersecurity Standards?

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Scrupulous or Negligent: How Does Your Business Measure up to Cybersecurity Standards?

By Kim Del Fierro, VP of Marketing for Area 1 Security.  - 10/11/2018

Cybersecurity is not just a concern for IT professionals, but rather its an issue that should be tackled by the entire organization. It’s not difficult to see why: cybersecurity threats are growing in number and severity. Additionally, enterprises are beginning to hold more and more sensitive data that they have to protect at all costs. So not only are threats becoming more dangerous, but there’s also an increasing number of potential targets for cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is no longer an issue only for banks. Nowadays restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and many others are becoming the targets of cyber criminals.

Unfortunately, many organizations fall into the group of those with a high level of compliance, but low security, or those that don’t believe they will be attacked. But what does that mean for your business, and how can you measure the level of your business’ cybersecurity standards?

No Cybersecurity Standards

Many businesses don’t consider themselves a target for cybercriminals. Why would they be? Let's take hotels, for example, their business is hospitality, and therefore they might think that their business would fly under the hackers' radar. However, hotels are worthy targets to cybercriminals. Hotels, like restaurants, manage a vast amount of personal guest information, which make them a potential target for any hacker.  Easy targets get exploited, and it’s only a matter of time before negligence gets you in trouble.

Just Checking off the Boxes

On the other hand, there are those organizations that do try to implement cybersecurity standards but fall short of becoming secure. It may happen because they don’t adjust the practices they choose to fit their actual needs. Instead, they may only be checking off all the compliance boxes, without stopping to evaluate which standards and guidelines should be applied and why. Doing this inevitably leaves them open for specific vectors of attack that aren’t covered by necessary compliance regulations, with the most common one being phishing.

Following the Proper Methodology

Finally, some organizations do follow proper methodology when it comes to establishing cybersecurity standards and applying them. It’s a process where risk assessment plays a considerable role. In order to formally evaluate common risks, an organization must also identify appropriate cybersecurity measures. Of course, everything needs to be documented, even the standards the organizations choose to apply.

Issues not Covered by Being Compliant

Even under full compliance with cybersecurity standards, some threats may slip through the cracks and endanger your organization. The main culprit is phishing, which is the leading cause of 95 percent of cyber attacks. Training employees to recognize phishing does not eliminate it as a threat. One employee’s mistake can have disastrous consequences, and it happens more often than you think. A mere 0.7 percent to 1 percent of malicious traffic causes fully 95 percent of the damage to organizational systems. One way to combat this is for hospitality organizations to implement software to help prevent phishing attacks from ever reaching an employee's inbox.