Viruses are the hot topic of 2021. We’re not just talking about the COVID-19 virus. Computer viruses, identity theft, and threat actors are no longer just the subject of sci-fi films and crime shows, but a reality of running a business. More than ever, cybersecurity is top of mind for business leaders. Whether you are a Fortune-500 Company or just launching your first venture, no business is too big or too small to escape the realities of today’s cyber threats. In fact, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2020 alone, and the cost of ransomware in 2021 has already surpassed last year’s record-breaking year.
Given these massive economic and national security concerns, governments are stepping in with regulation. President Joe Biden issued an executive order to strengthen U.S. Cybersecurity defenses, on May 12, 2021, partly in response to the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, and other significant cybersecurity attacks against the United States Government and private companies over the last few years, The sweeping executive order represents one of the most comprehensive policy actions on cybersecurity ever, touching everything from how the government buys secure IT software and products, implementing basic cyber hygiene controls in Federal networks, and improving the security of software and IoT design environments.
Demonstrating the Administration’s intense focus on improving the nation’s cybersecurity posture, the president also held a “Cybersecurity Summit' 'at the White House on August 25, 2021, and announced a collaboration between NIST and industry partners to develop a new framework for improving the security and integrity of the technology supply chain. And this is just the beginning.
Soon, there will be Federal regulations on companies to meet certain cybersecurity measures, much like a fire code for a building. If the pressure from customers and stockholders was not enough, get ready for the government pressure cooker to turn up the heat. In a short time, businesses will be filing a Cybersecurity report along with their taxes, every year.
What steps can you take to get ahead of risk?
1. Understand your risk.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), “The first step in improving your cybersecurity is understanding your risk of an attack, and where you can make the biggest improvements.” Though most small businesses feel they do not have the infrastructure or money to support a cybersecurity plan, there are simple tools and advanced technology which can help you understand and communicate cybersecurity risk. Security ratings are an effective tool that provides an easy-to-understand quantification of an organization’s security posture. . Think of them as the TransUnion or Equifax of cybersecurity. SecurityScorecard, the leader in cybersecurity ratings, gives you continuous monitoring of your security posture and that of your third parties with an A to F grade. Any organization can continuously monitor their score for free, taking the first step to gain visibility into their risk posture.
2. Educate your team to mitigate risk.
The second step is making sure you have qualified personnel managing your IT department. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is an American non-profit trade association, issuing professional certifications for the IT industry and is considered one of the IT industry’s top trade associations. According to Global Knowledge, CompTIA Security+ is the most popular of IT certifications for 2019 and a requirement for any IT role.
CompTIA + SecurityScorecard = Better Together
CompTIA is proud to partner with SecurityScorecard to help its members take control of their security posture. SecurityScorecard’s platform provides CompTIA ISAO members with the most comprehensive security ratings, seamless reporting, and the ability to automatically generate a plan to improve their score. With clear guidance on how to resolve deficiencies and improve one’s cyber risk rating, CompTIA members can take control of their security posture.
Between CompTIA’s certifications to educate a workforce and SecurityScorecard’s comprehensive ratings, companies can be sure that they have the right personnel and tools to protect their organization.
If 2021 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of safety first. Investing in cybersecurity can no longer be a secondary thought for companies. Before anyone launches an online store or starts collecting and storing customer data, they will need to make sure they have the right cybersecurity controls in place. Now, customers and stakeholders are demanding it. Next, the government will regulate it.
What does this mean for you?
Staffing a security and IT department is not an easy task. To find the right candidates, you could first look for their CompTIA certification or start their learning with multiple options from CompTIA.
Once they’re hired, make sure they have the right tools to continuously monitor your digital footprint. Claim your Scorecard for free and get continuous visibility into risk. The health and safety of your business (and your customers) depends on it.