The 2017 US National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education has revealed a very bleak state of the readiness of the United States in defending and responding to cybersecurity threats, as an estimated 285,000 Cybersecurity job vacancies remain unfilled. Most of the security professionals are not products of big universities and colleges, but rather self-taught individuals that are passionate about the cybersecurity sector.
As a stop-gap measure, private companies and government offices nationwide depend on 3rd party certified people to help cover their IT security needs. However, there is a big gap between holding a certificate and having a real world experience in dealing with cyber defense issues in both the public and private sectors. Many enterprises have resorted to just training workers, allow them to take certification exams and assign to them the heavy burden of protecting the IT Infrastructure even if they lack real-world experience.
As the exploits and vulnerabilities grow due to newly discovered flaws, the non-experienced IT staff trained under a non-real world security key indicator is no longer enough to cover the bases. How can enterprises adjust to the fast-changing environment? How can they face the threats against their IT infrastructure without spending a lot with hiring expensive cybersecurity professionals, that may be beyond their budget? These two questions we will try to answer, with our advice below:
Know the data that the company stores and use
The company needs to define its priority when it comes to the data it stores. Corporate data created by its employees and the data of their customers they hold under a legal consent agreement. This initial definition is very important, given that GDPR has taken effect since May 25, 2018, which covers all companies that operate online and transact with an EU citizen. People transacting with the company give their consent for the former to store their data, even the personally identifiable information. This is held under trust, and the moment that same trust is broken, that can basically end the business. The IT team member needs to fully grasp the very foundation of their job and the company because with full disclosure and understanding they are more motivated to do everything possible not to inflict damage or cause trouble.
Use industry standard automation tools as aides to human IT staff
We are in a period of time where having just one go-to person when it comes to the day-to-day operations of the IT infrastructure is just asking for trouble. We are in a period of massive deployment of automation tools in order to lessen the burden to the IT team of running and keeping the IT infrastructure in good working condition. Automation scripts can be acquired for free or for a fee, free and open source scripts are available for download and adaption for the enterprise. Custom automation scripts can also be bought from development vendors, its distinct advantage over open source ones is the level of technical support is available for them 24/7.
Promote the culture of fully embracing change
In today’s world, changes are the rules, not the exception. Companies need to implement strict Change Management policy in order to roll-out changes with less chance of failure. One of the worst things that can happen after a change is the system no longer works as expected, and the change management policy lessens the bad impacts of changes. An effective change management-aware IT team is key in order to remain a step ahead of the competition.
Cooperate and coordinate with government agencies through transparency and building trust
Governments are not persecuting business entities, but to maintain a quality business environment and safeguard consumer rights and promote their protection. Companies need to be aware of local laws and rules, as a non-cooperation can bring bad publicity for the firm.
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