Companies keen to ensure they do not fall prey to cyber criminals are being encouraged to invest in technology.
President and chief executive officer of the Financial Services Roundtable Tim Pawlenty wrote in his blog for the Wall Street Journal that business leaders must be prepared to tackle the issue of cyber security head-on and this will require additional investment in technology.
Protecting sensitive business and consumer data in the event of an intrusion into IT systems by unauthorised users should always be a priority for firms, with cyber attacks now coming in a variety of guises and all need to be guarded against.
Vulnerable systems that are not adequately safeguarded can be an easy access route for hackers or other online threats and failing to address these issues can result in not only data destruction, but also significant financial and reputational implications.
As such, company leaders are advised to join information-sharing industry organisations that will be able to help them to build a more in-depth knowledge of the potential security risks associated with their current IT infrastructure.
In addition, companies should monitor and ensure that all third-party vendors have strict security measures of their own, to guarantee that access to sensitive consumer and business data is limited to essential personnel only at all times.
Finally, breach notification and crisis communication plans should be in place for all businesses.
Mr Pawlenty stated: “This will be an ongoing battle for the long term and often the system is only as good as the weakest link. Companies must elevate their commitment to meet these present and future challenges.”
Indeed, figures published as part of the latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report showed the vast majority (92 per cent) of data security incidents over the last decade can be traced to just nine attack vectors, with malware infiltration, device loss or theft, distributed-denial-of-service attacks, payment card skimming and web app attacks all featuring heavily.
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