Swapnil Naik is a Sr. Director of Engineering at AFour Technologies with an experience of 22 years in CyberSecurity & Networks. Swapnil has been instrumental in defining, developing, and institutionalizing Cybersecurity practices to various enterprise customers and runs a successful CyberSecurity Practise at AFour Technologies.
As the world is undergoing digital transformation, more businesses are going online. Today, more and more businesses are migrating to the cloud to benefit from the ease of storage, access, and scalability. Also, due to the pandemic, everyone is working remotely and remote access to data is paramount. This is bringing limitless opportunities to adversaries to attack these resources that are easily accessible over the internet and create havoc for the business. Thus, businesses must put cybersecurity at the center of their mission and conduct regular cybersecurity audits of their applications and infrastructure.
Essentially, cyber security testing involves assessing a company’s network and determining whether or not it is vulnerable to attack and what types of threats are most likely to impact it. It provides clear insights into which systems are operating reliably and need extra protection. Cyber security tests have four components – itemizing the assets in the cyber-system, identifying the weaknesses in the assets that can be exploited, evaluating the severity of those weaknesses to determine exactly how much risk they pose, and offering suitable remedial measures to secure those weaknesses. While cyber security testing is essential for organizations in every industry, those who deal with confidential data, such as financial or medical information, are remarkably advised to conduct regular tests.
In a world where data sharing is rampant and indeed inevitable when working or using Cloud-based services, maintaining effective cybersecurity is critical. Merely installing general firewalls is not enough. Cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to achieve their ends, including ransomware attacks, DDoS, phishing schemes, social engineering, man-in-the-middle attacks, and zero-day attacks. Combating these requires multiple layers of protection, from using VPNs to machine learning applications that can detect threats before they attack. Efficient cyber security testing identifies which types of cybersecurity are the most appropriate for an organization by assessing the entire scope of systems, networks, and IT assets, including web applications, mobile applications, cloud infrastructure, data servers, and IoT device networks.
Cyberattacks are one of the most concerning business risks and recent data shows that cyber-attacks occur every 14 seconds. Yet, it is often observed that businesses do not treat cybersecurity as a priority. They may assume that their industry is not vulnerable to attack, that they are too small to attract a hacker’s notice, may not have the budget for security testing, or maybe too caught up with daily operations to have time for it. However, the truth is that cybercrime can affect businesses of any size and any industry and that the repercussions can be costly and deeply damaging.
Revenue loss – The first and most obvious effect of not having cybersecurity measures is being vulnerable to significant attacks. When such an attack happens, the disruption caused to business leads to significant revenue loss as well as the high costs of trying to repair the damage.
Data loss – Particularly for businesses that do not do regular backups, critical business data can become inaccessible for indefinite periods of a cyber-attack. And given that most businesses use Cloud services to share and collaborate on data, a single attack can corrupt all of the data at one go.
Hit to reputation – Customers are likely to lose faith in a company that has been the victim of a cyber-attack, particularly if customer data was compromised. The fall in brand reputation can be difficult to build back from.
The burden of recovery – Companies affected by cyber-attacks need to restore financial stability, recover their market reputation and save their data all at the same time. The stress of this can easily be too much for businesses to take, especially small ones, and may in many cases lead to the business folding altogether.
Businesses of all stripes need to recognize that cyber-attacks can come from anywhere and need appropriate safeguards. A multi-layered cybersecurity system can ward off threats – however, the system itself needs periodic check-ups to ensure that it is working as expected. In this regard, a top-notch cloud technologies firm like AFour can conduct systematic assessments on a company’s network and assets to identify risks and help remediate them. Moreover, such firms usually charge by a model wherein clients only need to pay for the time and resources, making it more affordable. This way, even small businesses, and start-ups can benefit from top-notch cyber security testing and safeguard their assets in an increasingly connected world.