Welcome to 2019! As we turn our attention to the coming year, there are some key themes that businesses and people may need to focus on within the coming year. Luckily at the turn of the calendar there was no repeated hype around millenium bugs and Y2K so the world kept turning.
However this year is the year of action for cybersecurity. Before you switch off and turn the page, and think – "oh here is another article about cybersecurity, blah blah blah",
take a moment to think about how the world is now on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. This new world revolves around cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Services where AI and machine learning can detect cancer faster, tell us to water our plants and what we should actually be planting based on soil type. AI’s are also taking the place of news anchors and telling us the news in realtime from text messages and social media.
In this digital world, where hyper-connectivity has been a boon for productivity, enabling connection and executing tasks is at a speed that was inconceivable even five years ago. And remember, five years ago we had our private phone numbers and addresses publicly listed for all to see in the phone book!
However, with that faster and more available connectivity, there is a risk of significant disruption where the potential consequences have escalated. Until recently, cybersecurity largely meant defending against website hacks, denial of services, and data breaches. The threat posed by them however, is now morphing into the realm of physical assets and critical infrastructure.
Awareness of cyber risk is increasing, so too are the number of threats and attempts individuals and businesses face. Kiwi businesses and individuals have long held the belief that “she’ll be right” and “it won't happen to me”. Well you are right! Until you are not. What if she isn't right and it does happen? What then?
Just like protecting ourselves from the sun, There are certain precautions and measures we can take to protect ourselves, we can wear sunscreen, go under shade, wear a hat, put more clothes on or not go outside at all!
2020 is around the corner where it is to be estimated that there will be 100 billion connected devices around the world, so the focus of 2019 should be action around cybersecurity and resilience. This is not just from a technology perspective but also from a culture and people strategy. Many times we have seen a “phishing attack” where an email looks like a bank or an invoice only to be paid to the wrong account or clicked on to get information elsewhere. These are intended for the individual to get “sucked in” and do something, and attacks are getting more sophisticated.
Awareness of these and other types of attack could be the difference between going out of business, spending costly hours getting all your photos or data back from backups (if you have them) to carrying on with your day!
Unfortunately there just isn't a silver bullet or blue pill we can take to avoid a breach. Accepting that breaches are inevitable may be the best advice to place you in the right mindset for 2019 – the year of cyber resilience and action! The critical objective is to withstand significant cyberattack and continue core operations. With our friends at HP a pathway to cyber resilience has been developed:
Identify your most critical assets / data. What do you have that is most valuable to others?
Gather intelligence on cyber threats. Who are the bad actors?
Understand your digital profile. What does your online activity signal to others?
Build a resilient system. What are the most critical elements of defense?
Plan for a breach. What can you do now to prepare for a crisis?
For more information on how you can take these steps, be involved in the STAR program or see if your email address is on the Dark Web. Get in touch today and we can assist you in continuing to do what you do. Making technology do what IT should, when IT should, by who IT should, and how IT should from ground to cloud.
Stratus Blue - Humanising Technology.