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Educating your business on the importance of cybersecurity

How to Prioritize Cybersecurity Before a Recession

Posted by Tierney Robinson on Jul 28, 2022 3:08:13 PM

Cybersecurity is one of the main factors to incorporate into your organization’s recession planning. One notorious online cybercriminal group, the Cobalt Cybercrime Gang, has been operating since 2013, completing over 100 heists totaling over EUR 10 billion in losses to the European financial industry. In a time when attackers are highly motivated and financial and reputational losses can have significant effects, it is crucial to have a clear picture and action plan regarding your cybersecurity posture.

With new threats emerging daily, it is essential to identify and address technical and operational risks proactively. Ensuring reliable and uninterrupted function of your operations during an incident means preparing for, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from a cyberattack.

A recession can occur unexpectedly with little to no warning and leave companies vulnerable to opportunistic and persistent threat actors. The two-fold impact of an economic downturn would be that companies reduce spending, often cybersecurity spending, and highly skilled individuals across the globe become desperate for income, possibly turning to “black hat” or malicious hacking. Successful cyberattacks lead to significant financial and reputational losses. Businesses need a mature cybersecurity program that is resilient to today’s complex and often uncertain threat environment.

Cyber Incidents and Attacks: Not If, But When

The best time to invest in Cybersecurity is before an attack. Preparation is the best defense, and your options will be severely limited if you wait until disaster strikes to think about your cybersecurity environment. Technical and procedural controls can greatly improve your security posture; the following list should give you an idea of where to start!

1. Identify Your Cybersecurity Risks

If an organization does not know its assets, cyber capabilities, and resources, it will struggle to adapt to evolving risks proactively. Start optimizing your security program by obtaining a complete picture of an organization’s operations, vulnerabilities, and response and recovery efforts.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessments create a holistic view of your organization’s cybersecurity risk management strategy and evaluate the program's maturity. After that, our seasoned analysts provide actionable, industry-specific insights for fortifying networks and systems.

Another option to consider is a Network Penetration Test, a technical assessment in which an ethical hacker navigates your internal and external networks to find weaknesses that could be exploited by external attackers or malicious insiders. These vulnerabilities and recommendations for their remediation are compiled into a report that guides the organization toward increased security. Proactively identifying and planning for technical and procedural risks will simplify and streamline recovery in the event of an attack.

2. Create a Culture of Cybersecurity

The best security programs are “baked into” the company culture. Users should understand the how and why behind the security measures they take, like using multi-factor authentication and secure password managers. Depending on their security awareness, your end-users could be an asset or a liability. User Awareness Training Programs, like KnowBe4 or ProCircular’s hands-on Escape Room training, are essential to stopping breaches, combating threats of phishing and related social engineering techniques, and establishing an environment that encourages cybersecurity practices and response.

Ideally, security would be considered and prioritized during the development of all new products and policies. In reality, speed or simplicity comes first, and security becomes an afterthought. In these cases, it’s even more critical to expose buried risks and mitigate them. Procrastination can be an appealing strategy, but new attack vectors emerging daily could lead to severe consequences.

3. Create an Incident Response Plan and Retainer

Even companies with mature security programs are likely to experience some type of security incident. The hacker pool is massive and growing. International criminal organizations employ clever, persistent, and dedicated attackers who spend hours every day cracking corporate systems. The financial and reputational impact of the incident depends greatly on the preparedness and speed of the incident response (IR) team. An incident response plan is a formalized document that outlines role assignments, detailed responsibilities, escalation criteria, and various response procedures to minimize the uncertainty on “game day.” Rehearsing that plan during an incident response tabletop exercise provides an environment to discuss complex circumstances and make thoughtful decisions as a team.

4. Find a Trusted Security Partner

Does your security program need extra attention? Let an expert guide cybersecurity priorities in 2023. A vCISO program (virtual Chief Information Security Officer) pairs your team with an experienced cybersecurity analyst to assess and reinforce existing strengths in the organization. If there are gaps in the security or compliance of your environment, you’ll have a seasoned partner to identify them and make recommendations.

Is Your Security Program Meeting Its Full Potential?

ProCircular has the right experts to guide you to an improved security posture. Proudly serving Iowa, Minnesota, and the entire midwest, ProCircular is among the nation’s best cybersecurity companies. Whether you are looking for technical controls, procedural development, or both, contact our experts at ProCircular, give us a call at 844-95-SECUR (73287) or email us at sales@procircular.com with any questions you have.

Topics: Cybersecurity, vulerability assessment, Penetration Testing, Incident Response, vCISO, Recession

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