In today’s threat landscape, the sheer volume of cyber threats is overwhelming, and getting bigger every day. Research estimates that the global cost of cyber-crime is running in the billions of dollars annually. 

By Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution

At the same time, technology is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic, with trends such as cloud, big data, mobility and the Internet of Things throwing new spanners in the security works. 

It’s no coincidence that the rapid changes in technology go hand in hand with a surge in cyber threats. However, the combination of these two factors are resulting in a significant increase in the organisation’s vulnerability.

Fraud is an ongoing scourge and threatens businesses of all types and sizes. Organisations need to be vigilant and proactive in fighting cyber fraud. These crimes can range from asset misappropriation, to theft, accounting fraud, and general corruption.

Compounding the problem is that cyber-crimes are usually hard to detect, investigate, and prosecute. There remains a general lack of understanding regarding cyber-crime. This environment provides fraudsters an opportunity to exploit any weaknesses in the organisation’s security framework.

So how do businesses get a grip on the challenges of a shifting technology environment coupled with a surge in the number of threats facing the business?

The solution lies in implementing the right detection and prevention tools to eliminate all types of fraudulent activity. Businesses need to respond with a mixture of tools and best practices. They need to protect themselves from today’s advanced threats, and comply with an ever increasing set of regulations and standards.

This takes a mixture of approaches. Businesses should regularly plan and conduct penetration testing exercises to assess their security framework’s robustness to withstand a breach. Preventative measures of this nature can help to strengthen their risk management protocols going forward.

Businesses also need to be fully up to speed with risks and any regulations surrounding compliance. They need to create a “cyber-aware” culture within their organisations, and need to get the right staff on board, who have the necessary skills and experience.

Companies also need to perform multiple reviews and audits, all of which generate large quantities of data. They also need to have security solutions in place such as AV, data loss prevention, endpoint protection, as well as vulnerability scanners and SIEM systems.

All of these tools in turn generate mountains of information that needs to be analysed and processed to get true insight into the risks faced by the business. This process can be onerous, and cannot be managed with spreadsheets to get a comprehensive picture. Real risk analytics and business intelligence are the way forward.

Another step is getting a proper security plan in place that prioritises security spend based on business needs and the information that is most important to the business. Finally, the plans and tools need to be implemented in such a way that the management is simple and ongoing.

The combined effects of all these tools and postures will definitely lower the incidence of breaches, which in turn will lessen any loss of reputation, valuable time and any possible collateral damage that goes hand in hand with cyber fraud.