Top 10 Benefits of Cyber Security
Cyber Security is the domain which deals with the overall management and security of the network, which the organizations own and operate. It is a holistic approach containing a wide range of disciplines. Risk management is an integral part of cyber security. The virtual world is not just a place of opportunities but threats too. Managing and prevention of wrongdoing is the main premise of cyber security. With the advent of technology, the sophistry of attacks too has improved. To overcome this challenge a concerted effort is required. It also does require consistent investments.
Why is Cyber Security required?
Cyber security is a vital part of an organization. It also goes by the name information security and is led by a team who specializes in forecasting and managing threat perceptions. Data privacy is of prime importance. Any leak in it will lead to grave implications for the institution. National legal frameworks demand that organizations take full responsibility of consumer information and any shortfall in it will lead to legal and financial losses. There is also the stigma of reputational loss that organizations face. Hence it is imperative that they take cyber security extremely seriously.
Cyber security does have a few inherent benefits. In this article we are going to have a quick look into the various facets of cyber security and the benefits it has. It is also imperative to understand the complexities this domain brings and the challenges it faces. Cyber security is an evolving field since technology, itself is evolving. Hackers and cyber criminals are always on the lookout to find loopholes. This is the reason why Information Security teams must be on tenterhooks. Apart from online threats, there are other challenges that teams face but balancing them are immense benefits that cyber security provides.
Benefits of Cyber Security
Protection of Data and Networks
This is the prime responsibility of the cyber security or Information Security team. Data is the holy grail of every organization and any loss or leak of it will have disastrous consequences. Risk Management is based on the pillar of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA). An information being transferred from a sender to a recipient will have to undergo these three stages only after which it is deemed to be true. While data is a must-protect entity, the network on which the data is being relayed is of equal importance. Hackers try to gain control of the network after which it becomes easy for them to get hold of the data. Malware and spyware play a key role in this. Phishing is one of the most common methods of gaining information. Once inside the network, the hackers can cause untold damage to the organization. Data is the new wealth and has its weight in gold. It is sold in the black market at a premium. The task of cyber security is cut out here. However, if done effectively, the threat is managed to acceptable levels and the damage done is easily mended.
Improves Business Continuity
One of the vital tasks of the management of any organisation is the continuity of business even under the severest of conditions. Business Continuity plan or BCP is a specialised area which enables any institution to operate when faced with challenges. BCP managers are tasked with the responsibility to oversee that every part of the company moves in sync with their provided responsibilities. Cyber security is an inherent part of this plan. At no time, even under extreme duress shall, the company lower its guard against cyber threats. Information Security teams must create roadmaps to overcome any circumstance. An effective cyber security plan helps in improving business continuity. Managers can forecast threats and build provisions to overcome them or at the least devise methods to minimise their effect. One of the innate benefits of cyber security is that it is all encompassing. The concept covers a wide domain of disciplines and hence is helpful from the management point of view. A company without a well thought out BCP is bound to fail in the long run. A glaring example is the recent pandemic that has swept the planet and taken everyone with shock.
Information Security Management
Information Security Management is another name for Cyber Security. It is a vast subject covering not just management practices but software and hardware management too. As mentioned in the previous point, information Security Management is also an integral part of BCP as well as the overall development of the organization. All management decisions are taken keeping cyber security in minds. This is more applicable for financial institutions and the banking sector. However, limiting it to just one sector would be oversimplification of the importance of the domain. Information security management is relevant across every sector, dealing with customer information or data in any form. Effective Information Security Management often leads to better coordination between departments and the entire institution works as a single cohesive unit. Teams looking after Information Security are tasked to predict trends of threats and the nature of it. The cyber world, as previously mentioned, is a place filled with wonderful things. It is also a place where a lot of bad things happen to. Hacking and stealing information make up a major part of it.
- Keeping Stakeholders happy
Shareholders are the most important stakeholders of a company. It is the responsibility of the organization to keep them in confidence. While getting good returns on investment is one of the surest ways to keep them happy, enhancing the reputation of the organization is another way too. In fact, the more reputed an organization is, the greater is its visibility and hence profitability. Loss or stealing of data has dire outcomes. The company loses its credibility and its shareholders, confidence over it. It is cyclic by nature. A loss of reputation of any organization will need years of effort and investment to make it right again. This will require sustained focus and not all stakeholders may have the patience or the inclination to keep the wheels moving. Hence one of the salient benefits of an effective cyber security plan is to enhance the reputation of the organization and keep the stakeholders happy. Greater the confidence the consumers have on the entity, increased will its revenue flow be. This is one of the benefits of cyber security that is often overlooked or missed.
Enhancement of Security Controls
Every organization has their requisite security controls or access protocols. Not everyone is allowed everywhere within the security structure of the organisation. It is the same for their networks. Effective cyber security protocols ensure that correct access is provided to the said individuals. One of the banes of failed cyber security management is poor access control mechanism. This is overcome by a protocol list whereby it is clearly mentioned who gets what access. Not everyone is provided with the master administrator role. However, it is also pertinent that access control procedures do not stifle free flow of information. Effective information security management is based on seamless flow of data without disruption within the intended circle. One of the benefits of effective cyber security is that it recognises the need of seamless networking and provides the environment to do so without comprising on security of the data. Company credentials are often marred due to rigid access control and security features. There is no such thing as perfect cyber security, and it is always dynamic by nature.
One of the important features of cyber security management is to identify threats and the source it is emanating from. It is also its prime benefits. For this purpose, teams use a range of tools and methods. Most networks and protocols are set up to prevent untoward outcomes. However, with the improvement in technology, hacking has become state of the art to. In fact, there are times, when the hackers are a couple of steps ahead of the teams who are deployed to counter them. Pre-emptive steps taken by the teams are usually the norm globally. These steps ensure that the network and the data it carries is safe and secure. Any attempt to penetrate the network sets off a chain of notifications and warning which is then handled by the quick response teams. AI and ML has allowed teams to perform many tasks relatively easily. Even threat forecasting has become a less cumbersome task, thanks to emerging technologies. There are pitfalls though like diversion of focus and resources to allow a major attack elsewhere but thanks to better training and greater awareness such instances are being overcome too.
Cyber Security, by its very nature is not limited to tech and IT companies. As mentioned previously, any organization dealing with consumer information and data must be under the purview of the relevant Data Privacy Act of the said countries. But again, it is not just about customer data. Even organizations which do not have direct consumer interaction, must protect their secrets. They will not want vital business information getting leaked to their competitors and thereby facing a loss of revenue and business opportunities. The benefit of cyber security is across the board. Every sector employs cyber security professionals to safeguard their data. From pharma to automobiles, defense contractors to banks, there is no domain which has been left untouched by cyber security. As a result of which the opportunity to find a job in this field is immense. As a matter of fact, the supply and demand remain skewed since supply chains have not yet been able to fill every vacancy. It is also a high paying job, and most experts are sought after.
Every organization must maintain compliance failing which there are legal hassles. Each sector has their respective norms which they must adhere to. One of the key benefits of effective cyber security management is that it helps organizations match to standards established by the government or any rating agency. Compliance is tasked to check the sustainability of the process and the company. It investigates various aspects of its functioning, one of which is data privacy and protection. A benefit of cyber security is that data protection being its major area, it focuses on building credible counters that will assist the organization prevent and loss of data and protect data. On most counts, if the cyber security or information security parameters are maintained, organizations are given full compliance certificates. This, as previously mentioned, is an added boost to the reputation of the company. A full compliance check also provides feedbacks to the company on various ways to improve internal processes, cut down on excess resources and improve efficiency. This in turn improves productivity.
- Software Development
One of the invisible benefits that cyber security provides is the new market for software. Because of increased cyber threats, organizations and software development professionals and companies have begun developing newer tools and devices. These tools and devices are designed to prevent loss of data, protection of the network and the prevent hackers from illegally penetrating individual accounts. The development of such tools and devices have given rise to greater opportunities. Many programmers have now turned their focus into this field since the opportunity to reach the sky is immense.
- Security Operations
Cyber Security is no more an affiliate department but an adjutant one. It is omni present and investigates every situation in detail. From email protection to internal chats, cyber security is all encompassing. The benefit of having cyber security as part of the security operations is that any threat is nipped in the bud. Security operations are undertaken across the board, in every organization, to identify the gaps and the loopholes. Threat hunting and incident response are some of the activities that are part of it.
Cyber Security is a specialize field that enables a company to operate safely. The virtual world is an immense space with disparate opportunities. One of them falls under the threat category, whose primary aim is to steal data and disrupt operations. Watching out for them and preventing the bad guys from reaching the sanctum sanctorum of any organization is the key responsibility of the Cyber Security team.