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Partner Perspectives

Cybersecurity Spring Cleaning: 3 Must-Dos for 2018

Why 'Spectre' and 'Meltdown,' GDPR, and the Internet of Things are three areas security teams should declutter and prioritize in the coming months.

With each successive data breach, the stakes for companies seem to get higher and higher, with more individuals affected and the costs for remediation escalating. That’s why it’s no surprise that a report published last July by insurance giant Lloyd’s of London estimates that a theoretical global cyberattack could trigger roughly $53 billion in economic losses – a figure that is comparable to record-shattering natural disasters such as 2012’s devastating Superstorm Sandy.

This forecast has serious ramifications for information security teams. It demonstrates that organizations that are following the latest security best practices of 2017 may still need to overhaul their cybersecurity strategy to combat tomorrow's newest, most highly-evolved threats. With spring just around the corner, along with the deadline for the EU's May 24 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) deadline, now is a good time for businesses to focus on "spring cleaning" data and company data collection and protection policies.

Here are three areas where security teams can declutter and reprioritize for spring 2018.

Fallible Hardware, Beefed up Security
Just a few days into the new year, security experts discovered a 20-year-old flaw within the processors underpinning the majority of computing devices, unveiling vulnerabilities for almost every individual and business the world over. Called Spectre and Meltdown, the bugs leverage data exfiltration techniques to steal network data after penetrating the network perimeter.

While it’s impossible to stop every threat from entering the network perimeter, security teams should seek out tools that can stop attempts at this kind of data exfiltration in their tracks. Among these tools are a class of so-called data loss prevention (DLP) tools that offer a line of defense when advanced threat detection capabilities that guard the network gateway fails.

New Regs, Increased Measurement & Monitoring
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that security teams "declutter" by doing more reporting on the activity taking place on their network. But the fact is, in the run-up to GDPR if your existing security tools aren’t keeping tabs on potentially anomalous traffic taking place over the network – especially those related to data collection – your company will be ill-prepared to meet the new GDPR compliance regulations, and a bevy of other rules going into effect in the coming months.

Short- and Long-Term Strategy for Internet of Things
Even if your organization hasn’t yet embarked on a wide-scale IoT deployment you probably will in the near future. IDC Forecasts worldwide spending on the Internet of Things to Reach $772 billion in 2018. As teams continue to beef up their traditional enterprise networks, now is the time to also begin thinking about how they can secure the oncoming enterprise IoT.

What will this entail? Organizations can start by deciding whether IoT devices will leverage the same gateways and network defenses used for standard connectivity on their existing network. Teams may find it more effective to deploy a dedicated network and administration team to manage the high-frequency, low-energy, beacon-sensor transmissions that characterize the IoT in parallel with larger network connectivity.

The Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance offer a valuable checklist for digital spring cleaning strategies. But security teams will need to go above and beyond to make sure their plans, policies, and tools are ready to defend against current and future advanced threats. What better time than now to get started?

 

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