Placing a company’s critical operations on an IoT platform can increase the level of vulnerability (e.g., more attack vectors) and present higher consequences of a breach (e.g., ransomware attacks on production systems).
Four key steps to avoiding cyber attacks
There is a global consensus that cyber attacks will not only continue but increase in velocity and sophistication, including targeting data, cloud providers, automation and IoT products. Accepting that the brand is a critical asset that demands the highest protection, these are a few of the key steps that TMT companies must take:
1. Place a priority on protection level of brand-related assets
An emerging view in cybersecurity is that not all assets can be secured. This in turn implies that the enterprise must prioritize certain assets for higher levels of protection.
2. TMT companies should place such a priority on protecting brand-related assets
Building a “ring fence” around purchasing information, passwords, transaction records, privacy records and other data that touches the customer. This is the information that is most likely to be targeted by cyber attackers, and the breach, that can cause the greatest harm to the enterprise.
It should be the priority. In addition, TMT companies that build and sell IoT products should manage cybersecurity risks throughout the IoT ecosystem from development, production and most importantly, active maintenance.
3. Build an employee culture of cybersecurity
Many cybersecurity programs — managed by IT specialists — focus on highly technical solutions to defend against cyber attacks. Companies should recognize that attackers can potentially be their own employees, and detecting malicious lateral movements inside the network perimeter is equally as important.
Cybersecurity training, supervision and accountability — in short, an employee culture of cybersecurity focused on vigilance — are critical to defend against cyber attacks.
4. Create a post-breach brand-recovery program
Many cyber experts privately acknowledge that their companies will be breached at some point. Ability to respond is as important as the capability to defend.
Companies should have in place a proactive incident response and recovery plan — including a communications plan, incident response process, forensics capability, governance and technical recovery procedures — that can help minimize damage, enable legal diligence and accelerate the company back to the trust of its customers.