Are you ready for new PIPEDA compliance requirements? Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is strengthening its policy with an amendment going into effect November 1, 2018.
Call centers are often on the frontline for an organization’s consumer base; therefore, protecting customer data is a crucial task that requires preventing call center fraud.
The world is connected to a variety of diverse digital landscapes, ranging from app usage to credit cards, and this level of connectivity is such that it is unwise for any organization to ignore global cybersecurity risks.
Regardless of industry, every organization is at risk of malicious attempts to enter a private security network, and the location is irrelevant.
The Equifax breach is an excellent example: Although the cyber attack predominantly affected those in the US, millions in Canada were susceptible to the breach as well.
All businesses must prepare against the inevitability of malicious cyber attacks, particularly as technology continues to advance on a global scale.
Organizations aren’t prepared for GDPR
Despite advanced warnings regarding the implementation of new cybersecurity standards, many organizations are still unsure of how to manage changes that will ensure compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The new regulation – scheduled to take effect on 25 May 2018 – demands that organizations handle personal data differently, but how those organizations ensure compliance is another matter entirely.
Resources are being pulled in different directions, and time will need to be set aside to educate stakeholders.
This primarily affects those businesses that engage in international trade, and an understanding of what is necessary to comply with the GDPR will help enhance cybersecurity when doing business with international clients.
The Internet of Things (IoT) poses a threat
Concerns surrounding the level of security among IoT devices has been discussed many times, but there is little forward progress in addressing the problem.
Although such devices add a level of convenience, they could provide the opening that a hacker needs to gain access to sensitive information.
Organizations that utilize IoT devices without the proper security infrastructure are susceptible to unmanaged risks, as it will become harder to track what – and how – information is transferrable.
IoT compromises security and no organization is immune.
The supply chain remains a weakness
Many organizations have a firm grip on their own cybersecurity practices, but knowledge of the existing infrastructure of third-party vendors is not as common.
Hackers are capable of taking advantage of this weakness in the supply chain, thereby gaining access to your IT infrastructure.
Unfortunately, when it comes to global business, the supply chain is a critical component of a successful operation.
Organizations must address the security risks between their international suppliers and take proactive measures that will prevent or at least minimize breaches.
The advance of breakthrough technology surpasses security spending
One of the most prominent concerns relating to international cybersecurity is the global tech war.
Individual countries are determined to produce the best in technological advances, without addressing security concerns applicable to those devices or systems.
Information security teams are expected to keep up with such developments, but the development of a robust cybersecurity strategy takes time.
Risks must be assessed holistically within the organization to close any gaps that hackers could leverage.
Stakeholders are demanding results, but they must understand that the best technology will pose a threat to the entire business if the end result is not secure.
International preparedness is the only way to mitigate international security risks. Individual organizations are only single elements of the global economy, and in a digital world, there are virtually no limits to the damage a single breach can cause. Malicious cyberattacks are an international concern, particularly as criminal organizations become more prominent. The international sharing of technology can boost the world economy, but the cybersecurity risks will grow as well.
What Breaches Tell Us About Cybersecurity
Every breach offers both the organization experiencing the breach as well as everyone else a reminder of the importance of proactive security measures.
Any time a breach occurs, it reveals any weaknesses in security exploited by hackers.
The following lessons can help prevent further cybersecurity disasters.
Vigilance is necessary
Hackers become more technologically savvy each day, making vigilance essential.
Breaches in cybersecurity will occur, but as demonstrated by the many large corporations, including Equifax, that has been rocked by massive breaches, many of them are likely preventable.
Breaches in security are often exacerbated when organizations ignore basic security measures.
Only when businesses recognize that information is always at risk can they take a more proactive approach in employing measures that can mitigate the losses associated with, if not entirely prevent, data breaches.
A shared economy creates a higher risk
As the sharing economy continues to gain traction and disrupt, organizations must recognize that along with the benefits that may be realized, there is also a risk.
As the shared economy grows, it’s not only consumers who are at risk from data breaches but the companies they work for.
The reality is, breaches are costly and can result in more than simply financial loss.
Stakeholders and investors are wary of businesses that have experienced breaches, as well as are consumers.
A shared economy demands that there are strong cybersecurity protocols across channels.
Third-party vendors can be a risk
Target and Home Depot were both victims of the same malware, and investigations proved that their primary security systems were not the main point of failure.
Granting access to third-party vendors, like offsite HVAC vendors, can allow hackers to embed malware and exploit system vulnerabilities.
Breaches have taught organizations that their vendors must be carefully vetted and should not be given more access than necessary to complete their jobs.
Security connections, passwords, logs, and more must be consistently monitored to find evidence of and prevent breaches.
Everyone is responsible for cybersecurity
Cybersecurity professionals are gaining knowledge from every breach, to help them prevent loss of critical information in the future.
The most important lesson we can learn from data breaches is that everyone within an organization is responsible.
The organization must invest not only in proper security measures and infrastructure but also in policies and procedures that encourage safe practices.
Every person on the staff must be trained to be vigilant, to recognize phishing, to report irregularities.
Companies must develop an entire culture of cybersecurity awareness; otherwise, weaknesses in systems will continue.
The ITeam understands IT Service and all security issues facing Canada. We are committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive, cost-effective Managed IT strategies that minimize risk and maximize efficiency. Contact us to learn more.
The most common mistake a small business makes regarding cybersecurity is the assumption that their business will not be targeted.
Unfortunately, hackers do not discriminate based on size.
Small businesses often have vulnerabilities in their systems that can lead to billions in losses.
Cybersecurity should be a top priority for all businesses.
Most Common Hacking Methods
A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy requires more than the basic security package.
Hackers’ techniques continue to evolve, and potential threats are surfacing from virtually every angle.
The following is a list of the most common hacking methods:
- APT (advanced persistent threats) – long-term targeted attacks that attempt to access networks in multiple phases to avoid detection
- DDoS (distributed denial of service) – hackers intentionally overload a system to force a network shutdown
- Insider threats – the misuse of network credentials by an administrator or previous employee, to access confidential information
- Malware (malicious software) – any type of program that is introduced to your system to damage or gain unauthorized access
- Password attacks – a variety of means by which hackers can attempt to crack your passwords, including mass theft, Wi-Fi monitoring, and brute force.
- Phishing – an attempt to gain confidential information via what appears to be a legitimate website or email source
- Ransomware – akin to malware, but hackers will demand ransom in return for the release of confidential information or unlock a system
Although you cannot predict what breach your small business is most likely to experience, the best strategy is to be prepared for any attempts to gain access to your system.
Strategy Depends on the Nature of Business
Your cybersecurity strategy will also reflect the nature of your business.
Defining the best security solution will involve an understanding of the risks specific to your organization.
How much does your business rely on e-commerce?
Do you have sensitive customer data stored on cloud servers or laptops?
Do your employees rely on Wi-Fi or personal networks to conduct business matters?
Knowledge of these factors, among others, will help give you a better understanding of which resources should be delegated to cybersecurity.
Establishing the right framework will help minimize the amount of risk to which your business is exposed.
Implement Best IT Practices
Applying best practices related to cybersecurity is an important tactic that every small business should employ.
Rather than rely on certain security recommendations, establish formal security policies to ensure that every department and all personnel are in compliance.
This will help reduce insider threats as well as password attacks. Additionally, keep all your software current, including security patches and updates.
Failure to do so could create a gap in your security wall could make it easy for a hacker to install malware.
Most importantly, educate your employees on cybersecurity strategies and prevention, which will reduce the number of successful attacks.
Do not fall victim to the misconception that small businesses are not a target for hackers.
A company with 50 employees is not going to make headlines if their business is attacked due to cybersecurity weaknesses, but it is a common occurrence nonetheless.
It is important to recognize that your current security systems may have gaps, and there should be frequent audits of your IT infrastructure to ensure consistent functionality.
Make cybersecurity one of your top priorities, regardless of the size of your business. Don’t be the next target.
The ITeam understands the cybersecurity issues facing Canada. We are committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive, cost-effective IT strategies that minimize risk and maximize efficiency. Contact us to learn more.
Suite 200, 1210 8 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1L3
Suite 200, 1210 8 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1L3
(Mountain Standard Time)
The ITeam $$ (403) 750-2540 Calgary, AB5
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