The evolution of technology has changed the way we do business, communicate with each other and impacts our basic day-to-day activities. However, like business organisations, criminals are also constantly seeking new opportunities to stay ahead of law enforcement in order to make profit. As criminals manage to find loopholes to exploit their illicit activities, the prevention, detection and the prosecution of cyber-crimes are increasingly becoming a challenge for corporations, government and law enforcement. As a business, how do you guard against reputational risk and financial losses that arise out of the manipulation of your sensitive data?
As an example, late last year, Tesco bank was subjected to a hack attack that saw over 20,000 current accounts compromised. Of course, cyber-attacks are not new. There have been several events in recent years, but as the risk heightens, financial institutions must be forward thinking in guarding against manipulation of sensitive data. We explore the different approaches to help businesses guard against cyber-crime.
Identify the Risks
How do you guard your business if you do not know what risks you face to start with? What level of risk does your organisation’s day-to-day activities expose you to? Risk is anything that exposes your business to harm, loss or damage. To effectively guard against cyber-security risks, you must identify systematic vulnerabilities; weaknesses that exposes the business to cyber threats.
Communication and Risk Awareness
Attacks on institutions remain an imminent threat. Some employees, however, may be oblivious to this. Promoting risk awareness through training and learning sessions can help senior management deliver its expectations of employees. Focusing on what each individual within their role can do to mitigate cyber-security risks will create a culture of accountability.
Adopt Strong Authentication Methods
Weak passwords unearth a world of wealth for hackers. As such, a combination of weak usernames and unauthentic passwords leaves your systems vulnerable and could result in significant financial losses if exploited. For many organisations, promoting and encouraging strong authentication for both employees and customers should be paramount.
Regular Penetration Tests
Conducting regular penetration tests to identify vulnerabilities can expose the very flaws and system weaknesses that criminals exploit. Monitor and test the resilience of your systems in order to identify told loopholes, flaws and weaknesses.
Implement Contingency Plans
So, you implemented a robust control framework, but what then happens if the controls your organisation has in place get circumvented? Be prepared in case something does go wrong. Your contingency plan should include assessing the risks the intrusion further exposes your business to; conducting a business impact analysis and identifying the locations and the data that has been manipulated in order to plan out recovery strategies.