The prevalence of cyber security attacks is alarming, with data breaches occurring across all industries and company sizes. Privacy laws and government regulations have been set up to protect data, but often a combination of “human oversight” and “technological failures” results in breaches. The consequences of a data breach go beyond the event itself and may include legal as well as financial ramifications.
In this blog we delve into the devastating consequences of cyber attacks, the need for vigilance, and the value in keeping a finger on the pulse of the IT security vitals of your systems. Choosing the right Cyber Security Posture Assessment team is key, ensuring the health of your IT systems and saving you time, money, and unnecessary headaches in the process, and most importantly, protecting your most valuable data assets.
Impact of a Cyber Attack on your business
A cyber attack on your business can lead to devastating consequences, including:
- Financial: The true cost of a cyber attack goes beyond the immediate losses suffered in breach notifications and protection costs, including regulatory fines, lost sales and repair costs. The impact could ripple for years if cyber criminals access your strategic assets or intellectual property. In May 2017, Target paid out an $18.7 million settlement over a large-scale data breach that took place in 2013. The company said that the total cost of the breach, however, was over $202 million. In some cases of ransomware, even the immediate payout can be costly, as in the case of the South Korean firm, Nayana, that paid over a $1 million dollars in Bitcoins.
- Legal: The government may launch an investigation into a large-scale data breach, to determine if the company had reasonable security protections in place. Was due diligence demonstrated or was it gross negligence?
- Reputation: The most significant cost is tied to the loss of trust from your customers. Online businesses can face a significant loss of reputation from cyber attacks, which eventually impacts revenue as well.
Beware of Regulators
If the impact of loss on your business is not enough of a motivating experience, consider the regulations around cybersecurity. In the U.S., the three main cybersecurity regulations are the:
- 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
- 2002 Homeland Security Act, which included the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
These three regulations mandate that healthcare organizations, financial institutions, and federal agencies should protect their systems and information. More recently, there are additional Cybersecurity requirements mandated under Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) Subpart 204.73. If your systems are attacked and compromised, you want to make sure any investigation would show due diligence by your organization to protect your IT assets and data. If your business has clients in the European Union, then your organization is subject to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
In demonstrating due diligence, keep in mind the three most important cybersecurity principles for protecting IT Systems which are Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability commonly referred to as the CIA triad. Given the steep cost of cybersecurity attacks, we recommend conducting a regularly scheduled Cyber Security Posture Risk Assessment as a best practice approach to keeping a finger on the pulse of your organization’s IT systems to ensure data confidentiality and integrity, while maintaining the highest level of system availability for your clients and stakeholders.
WhirlWind’s Cyber Security Health Experts
At WhirlWind Technologies (WhirlWind) we have assembled a team of experts in Cyber Security, Network Engineering and Project Management to deliver a detailed and actionable Cyber Security Posture Assessment. Our team will:
- Assess your overall security/network architectures
- Scan and analyze your network traffic, IT devices, and IT systems
- Identify and document your asset vulnerabilities
- Identify internal and external threats
- Provide actionable insight into steps you need to take for remediation in order of priority
- Model your policies for information security within your organization in line with the CIA triad.
Our distinguishing factors include:
- Fast Turnaround on Service: A lot of our clients hear the word “assessment” and become immediately concerned with the amount of time it would take. Our team can perform a full assessment in as little as 10 days with minimal impact on your operations and staff.
- Actionable Data: The tools we use provide near real-time visualization of a client’s network and systems for situational analysis and proactive vulnerability assessment and prioritized remediation. Our reports will identify and prioritize the high-risk elements in your IT systems footprints including vulnerabilities, processes, employee behavior, and policies you have in place.
- Reliability: Our proprietary footprinting process looks at all facets of your IT systems, maximizing the reliability and accuracy of our results in identifying and analyzing risks (threats and vulnerabilities) and providing recommendations.
- Compliance: Government agencies are required to follow Cyber Security regulations and guidelines, and private companies have to comply with certain laws (domestic and international).
- Trusted Long Term Partners: We create long term relationships with our clients, so we can help them protect the health of their IT security. We will create a best practices checklist to ensure you have the daily, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual vital checkup to keep your IT systems secure. We also offer ongoing follow-ups and post-remediation assessments as well. We are committed to creating sustainable relationships with our clients and to work with them for the long-run.
Do you consider cyber security threat serious enough to warrant action? What other recommendations do you have to take a pulse on your IT Security vitals? Leave us a comment!
-Mark Fields is the Sr. Vice President of Technology and Innovation at WhirlWind Technologies.Mr. Fields is an expert Information Technology (IT) leader with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a change agent with a proven track record of achievement in designing and implementing IT Enterprise Infrastructures, cyber security engineering, and cloud system architectures.