Cybersecurity Attacks: Are you at Risk?

Steven Minsky | July 30, 2015

An in-depth investigation by the non-profit analysis organization RAND reveals that hackers and their attacks are maturing at a much more rapid pace than organizations’ cybersecurity programs. Hackers now regularly and successfully plan sophisticated attacks to gain valuable information from large, well established organizations. In June 2015, Tony Scott, the CIO of the federal government, stated that organizations need “an architectural model that is secure by design rather than security slapped on after the fact, which is the way the IT world has worked for the past thirty years.”  The warning signs can no longer be ignored.

Many organizations naively think that if they are not a retailer storing millions of credit card numbers, then they are not a target for a cyber-attack. Bloomberg points out that hackers are really after any type of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), especially social security numbers, and Reuters reports that in black markets Protected Health Information (PHI) is 10 times more valuable than credit card numbers.

It comes as no surprise that there have been 4 major healthcare data breaches so far in 2015, with the UCLA Health breach of 4.5M patient records being the most recent. Any organization housing PII or PHI is at risk of financial and reputational ruin by a cyberattack. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently released a Cybersecurity Assessment Tool to aid organizations in becoming more secure. Survey results can be used to understand what policies and technologies should be leveraged to assure compliance and security. Last year the SEC also released a guide for conducting cybersecurity readiness assessments.

Organizational strategy and executive decisions need to be linked directly to business processes and ground level operations. In order to make clear the institutional knowledge that is collected at the front lines, IT security managers must be equipped with an IT risk management software that can elevate their concerns, and allow them to take action on the most pressing risks.

While a single individual may be capable of implementing a manual process that adheres to a particular governance framework, it’s far more effective to have that individual managing the process in an automated solution that can centrally manage and report on IT assets, applications, incidents, and risk assessments.

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