Five hurdles to effective cybersecurity strategies and their solutions

Janine Chasmer
Janine Chasmer

In a world where bytes are more valuable than banknotes, safeguarding sensitive information from opportunist criminals has become a relentless battle. In order to remain safe and avoid complex legal issues, organisations must  develop a foolproof cybersecurity plan to protect their most valuable assets, while remaining one step ahead of the cyberthreat curve.

Nevertheless, even the best laid plans can have their flaws, with organisations often falling prey to common pitfalls. As experts in Information Security, the Equantiis have revealed the top hidden adversaries that can thwart even the most well-intentioned information security strategies, arming you with the knowledge and insight you need to conquer and succeed:

Neglecting employee education and awareness

A good data security plan without human support to go with it, is like having a fortress equipped with state-of-the-art security systems manned by guards unaware of their role. In other words, even the best technologies won’t protect you if you don’t get your staff on board. Human errors are the number-one cause of security breaches and system failures, with researchers finding that as many of 95% of data breaches involve a human element, be it the misdelivered emails, misconfiguration or other mistakes. Employees at any level can unintentionally become weak links by falling prey to phishing attacks, using weak passwords or unwittingly sharing sensitive information.

The obvious solution to this problem is to invest in comprehensive cybersecurity training and promote a culture of data awareness companywide. Teach your team about the potential threats, show them how to identify attacks and promote good password hygiene. You could even stage false attacks to see how they respond, gathering important feedback on knowledge gaps and the need for future training if things don’t quite go to plan.

Insufficient updates and patches

Neglecting software updates and patches exposes your digital domain to attackers – a bit like leaving your home vulnerable with broken locks. Cybercriminals are opportunists, always on the lookout for unpatched vulnerabilities to exploit. Regularly updating your applications, operating systems and security software is an easy way to keep them out. You could even apply automated patch management systems to streamline the process, ensuring you’re always one step ahead when it comes to potential threats.

A lack of tailored security measures

Implementing generic, one-size-fits-all security strategies is like expecting the same suit to fit all kinds of people. It might do the basic job of dealing with the most obvious vulnerabilities but when it comes to protecting unique assets and protecting against business-specific threats, there’s no guarantee that off-the-shelf strategies will be the right fit. Companies must tackle this issue by opting for bespoke security solutions. Conduct thorough risk assessments to identify your specific risks and design a strategy that addresses them directly. Whether it’s access controls, encryption or network segmentation, tailor your approach to fit your unique needs.

Siloed communication and lacking collaboration

In the world of cybersecurity, communication is your shield. Nevertheless, many organisations suffer from fragmented collaboration when it comes to security. When IT, legal, compliance and executive teams operate in isolation, gaps in the defence emerge. Breaking down these siloes and establishing cross-functional teams that share insights and coordinate responses can help to coordinate responses, creating a united front that enhances threat detection, improves response time and boosts the overall efficacy of your strategy.

Underestimating evolving threats

Cyberthreats are shapeshifters, constantly evolving to bypass defences. In fact, the AV-Test Institute found that 560,000 new pieces of malware were released every single day in 2020, proving that yesterday’s solutions cannot be relied upon alone to rise up to the challenges of today.

Regularly assess the threat landscape, stay informed about emerging attacks and adapt your strategy accordingly. It doesn’t have to be expensive if you tackle things gradually and you can always employ advanced threat detection tools, AI-driven analytics and real-time monitoring to assist with the task.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing journey

In order to develop a successful cybersecurity strategy, organisations must consider technology, people, processes and the ever-shifting threat landscape in their approach. Remember that cybersecurity is not just an IT issue, nor is it a one-time event. Rather, it’s an ongoing journey of collective adaptation and learning. Arm yourself with knowledge, empower your team and always strive to stay one step ahead. It’s the best way to protect your digital assets and ensure that your information remains secure in the face of any incoming threats.

Think you may need a helping hand? Equantiis is committed to helping our clients achieve their maximum potential by optimising their processes and technology. Contact a member of our team today to book an initial consultation and future-proof your information security strategy.

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More about the author

Janine Chasmer
Janine Chasmer - Principal Consultant

Janine’s career includes 10 years in the not-for-profit sector, specifically within membership, and she leverages her industry expertise and first-hand experience with a wider range of clients, including Membership and Charity, where she provides consultancy on a range of areas including Business Strategy, Customer Experience improvement and process optimisation. In recent years, Janine has applied these consulting skills to the Education sector, supporting HE and FE institutions to improve their applicant and student experience at key phases such as application, enrolment, Clearing and progression. Other projects include Digital and Data Strategy, process and automation, and Student Journey optimisation. She has also worked as a SRM Functional Consultant, using this unique insight of both sector knowledge, and enabling technology to achieve transformational outcomes. Janine is also a regular event speaker and creates and shares industry and sector insights with her network.