We live in an age where cyberattacks are not just something that impact a select few companies. In 2020, it’s almost the norm for a company to get hit by a cyberattack or data breach.
With regulations like the EU’s GDPR and California’s upcoming data protection law, it is more important than ever that companies make sure their systems are as secure as possible. Experiencing a system breach is bad enough — but on top of all of the other negatives of data breaches, a company could be faced with hefty fines if they aren’t securing their data properly. Taking into account the potential fallout of a data breach, it’s no wonder that CISOs are feeling the pressure.
When cybersecurity issues arise, the CISO is usually blamed for it. Even if it’s not entirely their fault – maybe a hacker got in due to a developer who didn’t secure their code properly, or an IT operations professional didn’t patch a system that needed to be patched – it’s the CISO who is on the hook for it.
So, what can a CISO do to ensure that they’re protecting not only their organization, but their career? One option is to invest in good cybersecurity tools.
INVEST IN CYBERSECURITY TOOLS
By shifting some of the responsibility off employees and onto tools, there is less of a chance for human error, if configured correctly. Tools, such as firewalls, VPNs, antivirus software, can also help free up your employees’ time so that they can focus more on creating innovations for the business.
But if you’re putting your trust in a tool to do the heavy lifting for you, you better be sure it’s doing what you need it to. And as with purchasing any new software, it’s important to evaluate several options to determine which one suits your needs the best.
ANALYZE YOUR SYSTEMS TO SEE WHERE YOUR SECURITY IS LACKING
In order to ensure success, CISOs and security teams should first take a look at the organization as a whole and see what areas need to be covered by a cybersecurity tool.
This may be a good time to hire an outside penetration company to try and break into your company’s systems. These “white hat” hackers can be very effective in showing you the weak spots in your organization’s defenses. Once you know what areas need the most protection, you can look for tools that will help you better secure those specific areas.
If your organization is particularly secure in one area, but struggling to stay secure in another, maybe all you need is a solution that will fill in some of those gaps for you. For example, maybe you’ll learn that you need a stronger firewall, or that your employees are overly susceptible to phishing attempts and you need a tool to integrate with your email service and flag suspicious emails.
TRAINING COMPLEMENTS TOOLS
It’s not just about securing your technology – some organizations really need to work on educating their employees on security best practices. That’s why an effective security strategy combines tools with employee training. After all, a phishing detection service is not going to be very effective if employees ignore the warnings of the tool and click on suspicious links anyway.
A security training program can be implemented across the entire organization for all end users, but having specialized training for developers can be even more beneficial. Unfortunately, when developers are learning how to code, security often isn’t the main focus of their education – at least in a university setting. So programmers fresh out of college may not be coding with security in mind.
Teaching your developers how to write code that follows security best practices can help ensure that there are fewer security issues in the first place. That way, the number of effective security exploits for your application are reduced. However, there are tools out there to audit software code for security issues, which is a great way to have peace of mind when it comes to coding.
In addition to analyzing your systems and providing training to your end users, you can also implement OpenVPN Access Server to help prevent disastrous breaches. Our product provides several features specifically designed to help CISOs maintain high levels of data security.