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Digital Transformation: Understanding The Risks

In our fast-paced world of virality and instant gratification, digital transformation is quickly becoming not just a way for a business to get ahead, but an essential process to ensure its survival. By digitalising and even automating manual processes, organisations can maintain the agility and productivity required to thrive in today’s highly competitive market.

But as with any business transformation, digitalisation comes with a plethora of potential risks. After all, the more data and processes that a business has, the more potential vulnerabilities are opened up for threat actors to exploit.

In today’s blog, we are taking a look at some of the risks associated with digital transformation and the cloud, and the precautions you can take to protect your business from them.

1. Leaking Customer Data

One of the many negative outcomes of a cyber security breach is the exfiltration of customer data, which is often sold on the dark web.

Take the time to consider where and how customer data will come into your organisation, where it will be stored and how it will be used. Think about the kind of data you are collecting, too. Personal identifiable information (PII), banking details and payment information are of particular interest to threat actors, so this information should be protected at all costs.

Scan your data’s movements, from the minute it enters your organisation to the point it is permanently deleted, for any potential vulnerabilities that could lead to a leak. If you’re not sure how to carry out this kind of evaluation, consider bringing in a cyber security partner like Infosec K2K for a comprehensive security assessment.

2. Rushing Things

When it comes to organisational change, there can often be a great deal of pressure to move very quickly. However, when it comes to cyber security, it is important not to rush things.

Taking shortcuts to speed up your digital transformation process could greatly increase your security risks, exposing you to potential cyber threats.

Ensure there is a detailed “cyber security check” at each and every step of your transformation process, so you can complete the project knowing you’ve left no stone unturned when it comes to security.

3. Not Determining Your MVP

Those familiar with digital projects will also be very familiar with the term ‘minimum viable product’, or ‘MVP’. An MVP is essentially the bare minimum that you will accept as a “finished product” at the end of your project.

Usually, when taking an MVP approach, an organisation will complete the project with the MVP before launching follow-up projects designed to improve on and add more functionality to the solution.

It is important to determine the minimum security and privacy requirements you are willing to accept before launching your digital transformation project. These requirements might not include the most sophisticated cyber security solutions available, but they should still minimise the risk of a potential breach as much as possible.

We recommend considering introducing the concept of “Security By Design” in your business’ MVP. By making security a part of the process when a new product, platform or service is introduced in your business, you can prevent future attacks and streamline the cyber security process.

4. A Lack Of Accountability

Even if your organisation is fortunate enough to be armed with a full team of IT and cyber security officers, that doesn’t mean that the burden of cyber security sits solely with them.

All employees within your organisation have the potential to cause a cyber security breach, so they should all be accountable for preventing one.

Education is key here – ensure all employees within the organisation understand the risks of a breach, the potential damage it could cause to the business, and the ways they can prevent it. And, even more importantly, ensure they understand the value of the information they possess. Ask them to ask themselves “what could a threat actor with malicious intent do with the information that I’ve just been asked to share?”. Make it clear that every individual in the organisation is equally responsible for the safety of its data, programs and processes, and then ensure they are adequately trained to maintain that safety. Consider investing in an assessment of your employee’s current level of cyber security knowledge. Those that underperform should then undergo training and education to ensure they’re up to scratch.

5. Forgetting The Basics

When we’re developing cyber security solutions for complex business processes, it can be so easy to get caught up in the detail that we forget the basics.

Develop clear checklists and process requirements to ensure you’re up to speed with basic cyber hygiene, like best practices for password setting and multi-factor authentication, or even Zero Trust. That way, you can focus on the more complex tasks at hand without being let down by easily avoidable vulnerabilities!

5. Forgetting The Basics

Consulting a team of experts might seem like a big investment, particularly if you already have a cyber security team in-house, but it is not nearly as costly as a breach would be.

Businesses like Infosec K2K are equipped with teams of analysts that live and breathe cyber security. They spend each and every day swotting up on the latest threats, vulnerabilities and attack methods, and are always one step ahead of cyber criminals. By consulting with the experts when pulling together your digital transformation strategy, you can ensure you are prepared for whatever threat actors might throw at you.

Note: it is never too late to ask the experts. If your project is complete or almost complete, consider investing in a detailed security assessment. With a thorough review of your tech stack and processes, an assessment can look out for any vulnerabilities that might have been missed along the way.

Are you undergoing a digital transformation project and looking for support to ensure your organisation is safe from potential security vulnerabilities? From security assessments to crisis response plans and ongoing managed services packages, the team at Infosec K2K have a range of services to suit your organisation’s needs. Whatever resources and/or capabilities you need, the Infosec K2K team are the perfect partner to bolster your ranks and ensure your organisation is as safe as can be.

Fill out the form here, or send us an email at [email protected] to find out more.

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How Can CyberArk Help To Reduce The Risk Of Ransomware?

A Quick Reminder: What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a specific type of malicious software (or ‘malware’), designed to block access to a network or system until a ransom (a sum of money, usually demanded via cryptocurrency to ensure the anonymity of the recipient) is paid.

The malware usually works by encrypting key files on a network, rendering all users (even network admins) unable to view them. The hackers will then contact the organisation requesting a ransom be paid in exchange for the decryption key. Sometimes, the ransomware will also have the functionality to exfiltrate data from the encrypted network, allowing the hackers to steal as much data as they can access. Essentially, these attackers put their victims in a position whereby the quickest, easiest and often cheapest way to regain access to their organisation’s data is to pay the ransom.

You can find out more about ransomware and the reasons for its rise in popularity here.

The Potential Ramifications Of A Ransomware Attack

Thanks to its ability to spread quickly, impair systems and processes, and exfiltrate valuable data, ransomware is one of the most dangerous and costly forms of malware. And it’s growing fast, too. Roughly 37% of all organisations across the globe were victimised by a ransomware attack in 2021.

The most prominent ramification of a ransomware attack is the financial losses associated with it. According to an IBM Security report, the average total cost of a ransomware breach is somewhere around 4.62 million USD (£3.76 million).

It isn’t just about the money, either. Ransomware attacks can lead to:

– Loss of valuable company data
– Leaks of personal customer/employee information, which could lead to impersonation and/or personal financial losses
– A decrease in customer trust and brand loyalty
– Unexpected downtime for important business processes and/or systems
– An inability for the business to meet customer needs/requirements, potentially leading to a breach in contractual obligations and/or service agreements
– Dangers to customer safety (particularly in public infrastructure, public service and/or medical organisations)

The Best Solution

The good news is there are ways to protect your organisation from ransomware attacks – but traditional anti-virus solutions won’t cut it. These dated solutions use signature patterns to identify and block known malware variants, but contemporary ransomware is too smart for this. The latest malware programs continuously morph, ensuring they can’t be detected using signature-based methods.

The best way to successfully defend your network against today’s ransomware threat is by taking a multi-layered, ‘defence-in-depth’ approach to security.

This approach should include the following:

– A combination of Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities (e.g. multi-factor authentication, or ‘MFA’)
– An Endpoint Privilege Management (EPM) program
– A Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution

How CyberArk Can Help

Our partners at CyberArk are the masters when it comes to ransomware protection.

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

CyberArk Identity, CyberArk’s Identity and Access Management solution, allows organisations to quickly achieve their workforce identity security goals while enhancing operational efficiency. A SaaS-delivered solution, CyberArk Identity is designed for easy consumption and scalability, making it suitable for businesses of any size.

Find out more about the solution here.

Endpoint Privilege Management (EPM)

CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager is designed to remove local admin rights, enforce least-privilege security, defend against ransomware and cached credential compromise, and enable application control at the endpoint – thus helping to contain attackers at the point of entry, before they can traverse your network and inflict serious damage.

Find out more about the solution here.

Privileged Access Management (PAM)

CyberArk Privileged Access Manager is a solution designed to continuously discover and manage privileged accounts and credentials, isolate and monitor privileged sessions, and remediate risky activities across environments. With the option to purchase it as a SaaS or as a self-managed solution, CyberArk PAM can be implemented in organisations with or without experienced security teams.

Find out more about the solution here.

Are you looking for support implementing a CyberArk solution? You’re in the right place!

With a team packed with CyberArk experts (and even some past CyberArk employees!), there is no one more qualified to successfully implement and manage your CyberArk solution than Infosec K2K.

Fill out the form here, or send us an email at [email protected] to find out if CyberArk is the right solution for your business.