October 18, 2019 Cyber Security, Risk and Compliance Jobs

By Tom Wilde

Why does a company need Cyber Security?

Cyber security has become a virtual thorn in the side of billions of internet users each time they connect to the internet or click on a link. Some people may have the idea that they aren’t at risk because they don’t use social media or aren’t employed by a large corporation. But, in today’s world of continuous streaming and open WiFi access, a blasé approach to cyber security may make you easy prey for hackers. The threat to personal privacy began the day the internet launched into the public domain. The internet is not a physical thing and works by connecting computers to other networks of computers and sharing information. Herein lies the cyber security risk, IP addresses and personal locations can be seen by users on the other end of the network. The intentions of individuals with such valuable information aren’t always good and measures to protect network security has to be taken in physical and software forms. Simply using Google incognito mode and a VPN (Virtual Privacy Network) won’t be enough for a business today. Hackers are experts at finding weaknesses in system’s gaining access to client files and sensitive information. A multi-layered approach is the best defense a company can use to prevent a data breach and prevent the consequences that follow.

What exactly is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the protection of networks, hardware, software and data that are connected to the internet and at risk of possible cyber attacks or data breaches. The increasing reliance on modern technology only increases the threat of cyber attacks. Organisations don’t have the option of staying away from the internet at the risk of being left in the dust by competitors. To combat hackers and enhance cyber security, organisations should implement a network security strategy and operations that block illicit entry. Network security protects the main networking infrastructure from unauthorised access, modification, misuse, malfunction or inappropriate disclosure of organizations information.

How to implement Network Security

Network security is the measures taken to safeguard against unapproved access into a corporation’s network prevent being hacked. The focus of network security is to create a secure platform for users, programs and computers to function in. Laying out a network security plan can be done in a three-step process, protection, detection and finally, reaction.

1. Protection

Organisations and individual internet users should configure the systems and networks they use correctly. This is a key element in a network running properly and makes monitoring for any irregularities easier. A network that has not been set up correctly is unable to monitor traffic and is ineffective, which leaves room for vulnerabilities systems structure.

2. Detection

The old saying goes, ‘prevention is better than the cure’, and with network security, nothing could be truer. Stopping a cyber attack before it even begins can save organisations money and embarrassment. Explaining to your VIP client why their banking details are now on WikiLeaks is not a job any CEO would relish. Organisations do have options available to them to help stay one step ahead of ever-growing threats from outside sources. A security administrator is responsible for managing all IT related security and safety issues within a company. Security administrators develop systems and policies related to cyber security and overseeing the implementation of said policies to provide network security for all employee and client data the company uses. A security administrator’s job is to defend a company from current threats, but it is vital they are forward-thinking and develop disaster recovery plans if a system breach does occur. Correct configuration of security systems would fall into the domain of the security administrator. With the security system securely in place, security administrators can analyse security requirements, recommend improvements and monitor network traffic for suspicious behaviour. A security architect is responsible for the maintenance of a company’s security systems. The ability to think like a hacker is a requirement to work as an effective security architect, as they must anticipate all the moves and tactics that hackers will use to try and gain unauthorised access to an organisations network. Part of a company’s network security should be a clearly defined identity and access management framework. The management of employees’ digital identities helps build a business’s processes, policies and technologies that facilitate smooth management. Identity and access management allow IT managers to control user access to critical information within organisations. Access to systems will be role-based, which allows systems administrators to regulate access to networks based on the role of individual users within the enterprise. Penetration testing or ethical hacking is the process of testing a computer system, network or web application to find any vulnerability that a hacker could exploit. Penetration testing can be performed with software apps or manually with the help of an ethical hacker. The process involves gathering information about the ‘target’ before the test can be run, identifying possible points of entry and then attempting to break in and reporting back the results of the test. The main objective of the penetration test is to identify cyber security weaknesses. A test will also reveal employee’s compliance with the organisations security policy, whether they adhere to compliance requirements and employee’s cyber security awareness. Ethical hackers do the same job as a malicious hacker, but with one big difference, they work on behalf of the organisation to break into their systems legally. An ethical hacker has the same skills has as a normal hacker; except they are performing a broader penetration test. The techniques and methods used by an ethical hacker will be the same as their unethical counterparts, this ensures a thorough test of the network securities ability to prevent a bypass of the organisations IT security. The ethical hacker will document their findings and give advice on how to strengthen overall security exposures in insecure system configurations, hardware and software vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the company’s operational process.

3. Reaction

After identifying a problem, a response must be put into action as quickly as possible to return the network to a safe state. A defensive strategy should already be formulated by the security administrator or security architect in the event of a breach of the system does occur. Any delays in corrective action and finding what data was leaked could have an untold number of consequences for an organisation, a swift response is vital. A well-organised defence strategy will ensure a company has the resources to remove a hacker from their network.

What is Governance, Risk and Compliance used for?

Governance, risk and compliance refer to a strategy for managing an organisations overall risk management and compliance with regulations. It is a structured approach to aligning IT with business objectives, while effectively managing risk and meeting compliance requirements. Well-planned governance risk and compliance strategy come with plenty of benefits like optimal IT investments and improved decision-making among divisions and department. Governance and compliance are a difficult part of doing business and proving compliance is not always an easy task. A vulnerability assessment analyse performs an assessment of systems and networks. The assessment supplies information on where the systems differ from acceptable measurements. A vulnerability assessor scans applications and systems and looks for vulnerabilities that may cause trouble. Vulnerability assessments can be presented in comprehensive, prioritised lists, that organisations can use as a blueprint for improvements. Cyber security should not be left until a critical situation occurs. Protecting networks should be a top priority for organisations to safeguard against failure to secure sensitive data, which sends red flags to clients and can be damaging to your brand. A common thought among security experts is that a single line of defence is dangerous because a single defensive tool can be defeated by a determined adversary. The smart move is to use as many tools as you have at your disposal to create maximum security. Employing experts in the cyber security field allows organisations the peace of mind that their data is extensively protected.