Home » The Best Way to Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats, Pt.1

The Best Way to Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats, Pt.1

Cybersecurity is like an iceberg. Organizations tend to address threats that are apparent at the tip of the iceberg. However, there is at least 7/8ths of the iceberg under the water. This is also where we can find many unaddressed cyber risks. Therefore, organizations need to gain greater insight into all cybersecurity risks and address the ones that put them in a vulnerable position.

Hidden Cybersecurity Risks Displayed as an Iceberg

What exactly is cybersecurity risk? It is the probability of exposure or loss resulting from a cyberattack or data breach on an organization. An organization can have different kinds of risks such as vulnerability within the infrastructure or software, hacking, insider threat, third-party partner risk, data privacy law violations, lack of security awareness within the organization, and so on.

Are you taking measures to protect you and your company from cybersecurity threats? Have you thought about the costs of data breaches and other cybersecurity issues? Why is cybersecurity so important to have in your organization?

Well, cybersecurity threats put your organization in a vulnerable position and forces you to use more money to fix the cybersecurity problems. This can cost up to millions of dollars if your organization does not mitigate these risks in advance. Two of the commonly unaddressed risks in cybersecurity are third-party risks and data­­ privacy law violations.

Third-Party Risks

A third-party security risk is a cybersecurity threat that comes from outside an organization. This can occur to both large and small organizations. Cyberattacks focus on third-party organizations because the targeted corporation has little to no control over the third-party’s structure. For example, 41 million Target customers had their payment information exfiltrated because cyber attackers took advantage of a third-party’s lack of security. However, because the information released belonged to Target’s customers, the company had to pay $18.5 million for the data breach settlement.

Of course, this is not something that only happens to large organizations like Target. This happens to anyone, and according to an annual study by the Ponemon Institute, 56% of respondents confirmed that they had a data breach caused by their vendors.

So, what exactly can you do to address third-party cybersecurity risks?

Conduct a third-party security assessment to ensure your vendors and other third-parties are within the CMMC compliance guidelines and are following the NIST cybersecurity framework. This will allow your company to be fully aware of what security measures your vendors and third-party partners have in place. By knowing the third-party’s cybersecurity measures, you can make decisions on whether to move forward with the partnership. Additionally, you can plan for specific response measures to help your organization respond quickly to any data breaches on your company’s information.

You can also look over the contractual agreements with the third-party so that you will be informed of any cybersecurity risk including data breaches. This will require the third-party to keep you updated and informed on the status and safety of the information they, the third-party, has access to. Again, this will help you plan for response measures against any cybersecurity threats to your organization.

Data Privacy Law Violations

Next, there are data privacy law violations. First off, what exactly is data privacy? Data privacy is personal information collected by any organization that must be preserved and protected.  This information can be submitted by the users themselves or collected via cookies and other technology.

Each country has their own data privacy and compliance laws. In particular, the United States does not have a single overarching data privacy law. Instead, data privacy laws are addressed in various sectors and industries such as in telecommunications, health care, credit information, financial corporations, and marketing. In particular, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC) does not specifically address in data privacy policies. Instead, the FTC gives the government the authority to regulate and enforce privacy laws to protect consumers.

Within the United States, each state has their own set of data privacy law. The most comprehensive data privacy legislation is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This gives consumers the right to know what personal information a business is collecting about them and the right to delete personal information that has been collected. The CCPA also gives consumers the right to opt-out of their personal information being sold by the company.

Violating data privacy laws will leave the corporation vulnerable to direct financial losses and decreased trust in your customer base. Additionally, data privacy law violations include unintentional loss of personal data. Therefore, you need maintain a safe and secure digital network security. Meeting cybersecurity governance risk and compliance will protect both your consumer data as well as classified data belonging to the company.

Internationally, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data privacy law that protects the data and digital information on European Union’s citizens. This legislation should be considered when setting up your network – especially for corporations who work internationally.

Use cyber risk assessment tools to determine whether your company meets the security clearance. Protect your company before it is too late! Cybersecurity risk mitigation is the best way to protect your company’s and consumers’ data and information.

More to Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity and awareness training will teach your employees specific steps on how to address any cybersecurity issues that may occur. Practicing these plans and response measures will minimize the impact of a data breach or data privacy violation. This is to protect your company’s information and reputation by solving the problem of cybersecurity risks.

Learn more about the hidden risks of cybersecurity in part 2 of our blog series, Cybersecurity as an Iceberg. We will dive into more detail the importance of cybersecurity and awareness training, insider threats, and missing policies. Stay tuned for more information on other unaddressed cybersecurity risks to maintain a safe digital environment for your company.