Cyber security has become a universal necessity for business survival, and it is not just about meeting industry standards anymore. With more stringent security laws and requirements, and an increase in the storage and transmission of sensitive data, conforming to policy demands appropriately is vital.
The importance of cyber security
The ever-changing attack surface inevitably provides more opportunity for malicious attackers to gain a foothold in your digital environment - so hacking is becoming easier while enforcing a robust defence is becoming more difficult.
Exposed assets (those known and unknown to you) perform as attack vectors - pathways used by a malicious hacker to access systems. If not attended to, these can unintentionally grant an attacker privileged access to your digital infrastructure. Therefore, organizations of all sizes, across a number of industries internationally, are rendered vulnerable to an assortment of cyber attacks.
Ensuring compliance with optimum cyber security
Failing to meet cyber security standards poses serious ramifications for organizations, and has for many already. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one specific regulation regarding cyber security - they differ across industries and regions. So, it’s is important to be aware of which particular standards you must adhere to in order to guarantee confidentiality and integrity, making compliance now key to business success. Below are some examples of cyber security regulations:
- The General Data Protection Regulation - the EU’s data protection law (also known as GDPR), entails strict standards to protect the data of anyone within the EU. GDPR violation results in harsh fines, in fact, Google was charged with a 50 million euro fine in 2019 for failing to meet the requirements.
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - this data security regulation (also known as PCI DSS) outlines safeguards regarding financial information systems and instructs secure payment solutions. The home improvement retailer Home Depot’s breach back in 2014 cost the company a substantial 43 million dollars after attacks stole the payment details of over 56 million customers.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - the US federal law (also known as HIPPA) sets a national standard regarding the privacy of personal health information. Health insurance provider Anthem Inc. was fined 16 million dollars after a significant data breach that disclosed the information of just under 79 million people.
- The New York Shield Act - The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (also known appropriately as SHIELD) Act’s objective is to amend New York’s data breach notification law. It mandates that “any person or entity with private information of a New York Resident, not just to those that conduct business in New York State” to "develop, implement and maintain reasonable safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of the private information”.
With the occurrence and severity of attacks on the rise, from hacking to sophisticated social engineering attempts, adopting the right safeguarding techniques will help you secure your company’s future. As seen in many cases, successful cyber attacks resulting from non-compliance can result in lasting reputational and financial damage. So, cyber security should be considered an important business decision. Implementing a continuous security monitoring program would be a suitable solution.
Another advantage of prioritizing cyber security is that being able to prove that you comply with data protection regulations is provides a competitive advantage, showing integrity and helping you build trust with your clients. This is likely to lead to more long-term customer relationships too, giving them confidence in your company to manage and protect their sensitive data.
How to achieve compliance and reduce risk using proactive cyber security
Of course, proactive security is much more effective than reactive security. In anticipation of new and amended security policies, adopting a risk-based security strategy is crucial. Some standards require regular penetration testing to locate gaps in your security infrastructure. Others require the implementation of continuous security monitoring (CSM), which is more frequently becoming a legal and regulatory requirement for asset tracking.
Attack surface management (ASM) is a form of continuous security. It’s automated 24/7 mapping of your external environment grants full visibility and flags potential vulnerabilities while providing asset tracking and inventory. With everything in a single platform, businesses can also benefit from better operational efficiency.
How informer can help ensure compliance
We firmly believe that security strategies must evolve to keep up with the ever-changing threat interface to provide optimum coverage. Therefore, Informer offers the unique benefits of combining live asset discovery, vulnerability scanning, and expert penetration testing in a single frictionless platform.
Advanced OSINT technology automatically detects and maps your internet-facing assets, giving you a complete picture of your evolving IT environment and allowing for faster remediation of vulnerabilities. The specialized asset discovery tool also understands compliance and security regulations - so it can detect such issues with sensitive data. So, achieving compliance might not be as complicated as once previously thought.
Don’t get caught out, prioritize your security, and book a demo today to find out more about how Informer can equip you effectively shield your organization from threats with powerful data-driven insights.