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Why cyber security consulting services matter to CEOs

Since the pandemic began, my team and I have seen an increase in the number of cyber attacks across Australia and worldwide.

Countless social engineering attempts have landed in our inboxes. Some were convincingly legitimate at first glance, but not when we looked closer. Reputable organisations have also experienced cyber attacks that leaked customer information and damaged their reputation.

Distributed workforces have created vulnerabilities. As people work from home, their devices and networks have become targets to access corporate data. Cyber security is no longer an issue for only your IT team.

It falls on the shoulders of CXOs to be aware of these issues and lead the charge in protecting the organisation. To do that, you need cyber security consulting services to guide your play.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the practice of protecting corporate data by mitigating vulnerabilities in networks and devices associated with your business. Cyber criminals, malicious insiders and other unauthorised parties may attempt to access, harm, disrupt or modify your systems. As a CEO or executive, you need to be aware of the cyber threats attempting to harm your business.

Cyber attacks can harm your business in several ways, including:

  • Inability to do business as usual
  • Loss of revenue
  • Expenses associated with recovering from the attack
  • Reputational damage

You need to assume that attackers will exploit all weak links. So, you will need solutions to protect your applications, computers, networks and users. For example, you might leverage multi-factor authentication to reduce the risk of leaked passwords and protect your users.

Cyber security consulting services assess your risk levels and identify potential vulnerabilities. These services also develop plans to protect you from cyber attacks and respond to incidents if they occur.

From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received 67,500 cybercrime reports — a 13% increase from the previous financial year.

Cyber security consulting services guide you on compliance

Australia has a number of laws and regulations that govern how companies protect data. Cyber security consulting services ensure you maintain compliance with the following:

Privacy Act 1988

Australia's Privacy Act 1988 sets out specific requirements for how organisations must protect the personal information of individuals. The Act covers a wide range of personal data handling activities, such as collecting, holding, using and disclosing personal information.

Organisations must take reasonable steps to protect the personal information they hold from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. They must also ensure that the personal information they collect is accurate, up-to-date and complete.

Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme

In 2018, the Australian government implemented the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme. It requires organisations to notify individuals and the Australian government of any data breaches that might result in serious harm. You need to report any breach that exposes personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card details or tax file numbers.

You are not required to report minor breaches, and there are several exemptions, including law enforcement and national security purposes. The scheme also does not apply to foreign organisations that process personal information about Australians.

APRA Standards

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released the Cyber Security Standards in October 2017. The standards apply to all financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, building societies, and insurers.

Financial institutions that do not comply with the Cyber Security Standards may face fines or sanctions from APRA.

PCI DSS

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) regulates how companies process, store, or transmit credit card data. The goal of PCI DSS is to protect credit card data from theft and fraud.

PCI DSS requires companies to take several steps to protect credit card data, including:

  • Encrypting credit card data
  • Leveraging firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Regularly testing security systems
  • Updating anti-virus software

Many companies find it challenging to meet all the requirements of PCI DSS. Cyber security consulting services can assist you by identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in your business.

Balancing risk, usability and cost

Risk

Many different cyber security solutions can help reduce the risk of a data breach or other cyber attacks. Some of these solutions include:

  • firewalls
  • anti-virus software
  • spam filters
  • intrusion detection systems
  • data loss prevention tools

Multiple layers of security reduce the risk of a data breach while still providing usability that allows employees to do their jobs effectively. Additionally, having multiple layers of security can be more cost-effective than relying on a single layer of protection.

Usability

Employees need cyber security solutions that are easy to use and access. People may not use an MFA solution if it takes too long to get the access code.

When selecting a cyber security solution for your company, it is crucial to consider the product's usability. Solutions that are difficult to use or are not user-friendly will likely be ignored or unused by employees. This can leave your company vulnerable to cyber attacks. A good cyber security solution should be intuitive and easy to use, which increases the likelihood of people leveraging it.

Cost

Cyber security solutions can be expensive, and you need to balance the cost of these solutions with cyber security risks. In some cases, it may make more sense to spend more money on better protection for your company. 

You need to make sure you choose the right cyber security solution for your company.

In March 2020, 70% of businesses relied on password-centric authentication, despite advances such as biometrics and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Get your cyber security play right with VISITS

Adopting new technology requires a significant investment, so your solution needs to deliver competitive advantage, improvement and risk reduction.

We have robust experience in delivering solutions that align with your business strategy. Our experts can guide you in securing your corporate resources across the cloud, your data centre, or employee devices.

Let us find the technology solutions you need with our Consulting Services.

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