You’ve just sat down to start your work day and you’re going through your emails, hot cup of coffee in hand. You see an email from your company’s IT department telling you to install an update ASAP. As soon as you click the link in the email, you realize you probably should have checked with IT first. Questions start racing through your mind: “Did this email come from them?” “What did I just do?” “Will I ever be able to enjoy a cup of coffee again?” According to a recent study, there was a 61% increase in the rate of phishing attacks in the six months ending in October 2022 compared to the previous year. The same study also revealed a 50% increase in attacks on mobile devices. With the number of cyberattacks on the rise, organizations are becoming increasingly vulnerable; this vulnerability can contribute to a lack of customer confidence. A 2022 PWC survey found that 87% of business leaders believe consumers highly trust their company, but in the same survey, only 30% of consumers said they actually trust companies. For companies to get their consumers to trust them, they must first trust their employees. When a cyber event occurs, employees must feel empowered to act quickly to prevent further damage–this means being equipped with the best cybersecurity resources to stay prepared.
5 essential steps to protect your organization from a data breachThough most organizations have an incident response plan in place for this exact contingency, when a data breach does occur, employees are often the first line of defense. Whether it was an insider who stole customer data, a ransomware attack, or an accidental breach, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a useful cybersecurity framework to follow in the event of a breach:
1. IdentifyIdentify and gather all critical assets, including systems, people, data, and capabilities. This will help gain an understanding of how these assets support critical functions in the business context of an organization.
2. ProtectThis function supports the implementation of security measures to prevent or limit the impact of a cyber incident on critical assets. Some of the most important measures are:
- Stricter Access Control and Identity Management
- Staff training to raise awareness about cyber risks
- Securing data by protecting its confidentiality, integrity, and availability