IT security is once again set to make news in 2019. Whether taking a carefully planned venture into cloud, or getting carried by the wave of new opportunities, businesses must now secure a bigger potential attack surface than ever before. As that attack surface increases, so does risk. Now is the time to re-assess IT security in every business.
A new wave of Attacks
It is remarkably easy to use existing tools to launch an attack, but most are the work of sophisticated criminal organisations that see cyber-crime as a lucrative business. Ransomware remains the most frequent type of attack faced by small and mid-sized Australian businesses, but cyber criminals certainly don’t stop there. Theft, denial of service and industrial espionage are among many crimes that occur, often undetected until much later.
Part of the problem is the sheer complexity of modern, hybrid environments. Not only must businesses secure on-premise and cloud environments, but they must deal with vulnerabilities that emerge when the two come together. The problem is, it is hard to secure what you cannot see, and, obscured by complexity, it can be tricky to accurately evaluate risk.
There is good news on this front, though. Our vendor partners tell us that addressing visibility is a priority, and we’re already seeing that reflected by some practical features that bolster safety. We’ve been able to work with outstanding technologies that feature built-in intelligence, gathering information from throughout the on-and-off-premise environment, from endpoints, servers, and anything in between.
What this type of data gathering does is give a viewing platform for the IT department, with a vista that covers every device and every user. More than just visibility, some of the new generation uses artificial intelligence to identify anomalies and alert the business, isolating suspect situations or users and limiting harm.
The more data that modern, intelligent infrastructure encounters, the greater the intelligence it can apply to security. It can also have an impact in managing the environment – for example, we’re now working with intelligent storage devices that can predict infrastructure problems before they even happen, and in most cases fix the problem without human intervention. Security and manageability are inextricably linked.
It would be misleading to suggest that one single product can protect organisations absolutely. No matter how strong the security, a layered approach is the best defence. But what if the worst happens? Every business should ask itself this question. After all, the human element means that a seemingly innocuous link will be clicked in email or some clickbait will prove too compelling.
The sophistication of cyber-criminals has greatly increased, to the point that they have a team of professionals making those phishing emails more convincing than ever. In 2019, bolstered by a team of marketing and technology experts, we can expect the ‘quality’ of attacks to increase further. When you add to that the variety of natural and man-made disasters that we face in Australia, it makes sense to plan for every possibility.
While the hybrid environment faces new hazards, it also has extraordinary possibilities. Our business continuity specialists can draw from a wealth of cloud and on-premise combinations that prepare your business to recover and operate no matter what. Here, planning and testing are everything: every change in the IT environment can impact the business continuity landscape, so it is good practice to fully test response regularly. Besides, in the midst of a crisis is the last time to tweak your plan.
In 2019, no business can afford to skip business continuity planning for its hybrid environment, and protecting critical systems is a key responsibility of leaders. When attacks happen, you’ll be glad of every second of preparation you’ve invested.
Time to get expert business continuity advice? Chat with our friendly team today.