This is the second in a recurring series that explores the cybersecurity principles and best practices found within the National Institute of Standards & Technology Cybersecurity Framework. You may recall from last month’s column that NIST organizes cybersecurity risk management into five high-level functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover.
Mention cybersecurity and immediate thoughts turn to technical controls such as firewalls, endpoint detection and patching systems. While these and other technical controls certainly are necessary, they must work in tandem with administrative and physical controls in order to form a mature risk mitigation program. This month, we will explore some of the physical aspects of cyber risk management, which inherently relies upon on-site security personnel and employee training for proper execution.
Your company may think it has adequate insurance coverage for a network breach, but there’s a good chance that it does not. According to the findings of a recent UK government report, over half of the companies surveyed thought they had the right coverage in place, while only 10 percent actually did. Another sizable group of those surveyed responded that they had no idea which of the many cyber risks facing their company even could be insured.
We have been following the same cybersecurity approach, more or less, for over a decade. Yet, most everyone agrees that the problem continues to grow worse. Perhaps we are not on the right course. Maybe we are operating on false assumptions. The following list (to be continued in next month’s column) is meant to promote a dialogue about what, in my view, are widely held cybersecurity myths.
I recently interviewed Marc Goodman, founder of the Future Crimes Institute and author of the recently published book “Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It.” In his book, Goodman sets forth with great precision the frightening extent to which current and emerging technologies are harming national and corporate security, putting people’s lives at risk, eroding privacy, and even altering our perceptions of reality.
Ask most corporate executives to define cybersecurity and their initial thoughts turn to data privacy. That’s for good reason. Companies are bleeding corporate trade secrets and personally identifiable information at such an alarming rate that confidentiality issues and related compliance concerns can’t help but dominate the cybersecurity agenda. Yet, ask cybersecurity professionals what keeps them up at night, and the topic invariably turns to data deletion, tampering with control systems, and the potential to cause physical harm over the Internet. These concerns fall into categories that are distinct from protecting data confidentiality. Instead, they demonstrate the importance of maintaining an enterprise focus on the integrity and availability of your company’s most essential data, systems and services.