The importance of focusing on cyber security these days can’t be overstated. We continually see news detailing the latest breach, compromised data, and hacking attempts against organizations and brands we are familiar with and sometimes directly impact us. In a world where this is becoming the new norm, organizations must take these threats seriously, and if you have not experienced a breach yet, you must assume that you will.
Over the years, we have seen various customer partners deal with this in their organizations. Some originated internally, and others came from external sources, even nation-state hackers. We have witnessed different attempts to respond to these incidents, and some have worked better than others. Each incident has unique characteristics and variables that determine the appropriate actions and response. Still, through experience, I have identified a few proactive steps that can be taken to prepare for such an event. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it can provide insight and provoke thoughts and discussions that benefit your organization.
• Have a clear understanding, validation, and documentation of current controls and technology practices.
For our type of business at ImageSource, we leverage the AICPA System and Organizational Controls (SOC 2) compliance standards to ensure we adopt and execute the proper controls to ensure our offerings and services protect our customer partners and us. The focus is specific to data security, availability, and processing integrity from a service and product development perspective. There is an exhaustive list of items and compliance standards to adhere to. Invest in the audit process with a trusted 3rd party organization, and you should have:
• A comprehensive understanding of your current organizational controls.
• A 3rd party audit and certification ensures you are following best practices and results in a roadmap to continually adapt your practices to stay in compliance and provide your employees, users, customers, constituents, etc., with the services and/or products that meet current industry standards.
• Understand and address your cyber security landscape. You only know what you know, so you’ve got to learn more. Lack of knowledge contributes to the following:
• Not fully understanding where you are vulnerable, the types of attacks occurring, or incomplete knowledge of your organizational security landscape directly contribute to breaches.
• Patches or version updates are not kept current, a default password is not updated, or a lack of training/education for your employees are common causes of significant data breaches.
These are preventable by going through a cyber security assessment. Shedding light on vulnerabilities from critical to low severity and how to address them to ensure you are not an easy target. A proper assessment will not only provide insight into current vulnerabilities, but it will include a measurement of the risk/likelihood of an occurrence and the mitigation steps to address each, with associated costs. It will also guide your Incident Response Plan to make sure you have a playbook to execute the correct actions when an incident arises. A response plan is a make or break for your organization, customers, and your insurance company.
The assessment is an excellent exercise in preventing sleepless nights for your technology and cyber security personnel that lie awake worrying about what they don’t know or what could happen. ImageSource partners with a trusted and highly experienced organization that provides this comprehensive assessment, and we are happy to share our experiences and benefits from leveraging this expertise ourselves.
Lastly, investing in technology that can prevent and/or limit exposure. One example is with the shift to remote workforces. We had many customers struggling to support and keep their users productive working from home while protecting and securing sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII). Shifting from secure and controlled work environments to home offices or coffee shops created a security gap when dealing with PII. In partnering with our customers and understanding their challenges, we developed an automated solution (ILINX DLP) to secure data before it is made available outside of the organization. Based on the user’s role and work location, the software proactively redacts all sensitive information on the content before distribution. For example, if a user is processing documents that contain Social Security Numbers, juvenile information, or credit card numbers, the software will automatically find and redact those specific pieces of information before presenting the document to the user. ILINX DLP allows the user to continue processing their work without unnecessarily compromising sensitive information. This type of solution works for sharing content to vendors, auditors, or constituents without requiring a manual review and redaction process.
Cyber security is a critical element for any organization to understand and ensure the proper controls, procedures, and technology to prevent a breach or be an easy target for hackers. The ongoing investment ensures that due diligence is done, and the return on that investment is easy to define. Evaluate what you are doing today and what your ongoing strategy/roadmap addresses. If you have concerns, an issue identifying ROI, or sleepless nights, please reach out, and we would love to share our experiences and get you on the right strategic path for your organization.
Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 17th at 10 AM PST for our upcoming webinar focused on Cyber Security. Register today!