A bee hive is an industrious place of teamwork; now imagine vulnerability, and a passing wasp taking its opportunity to force entry.

Your business is its own hive and the impact of cybercrime and the integrity of our systems is a huge concern. The importance of secure data combined with data protection regulations means that organisations are obliged to take the required technical measures to help keep their customers safe and avoid reputational impact.

The variety of structured and unstructured attacks that cybercriminals can deploy has increased, and with it, threats relating to cybersecurity are growing. With a constantly changing threat landscape, businesses must stay fully informed and prepared.

Here we look at four security trends that will shape the way you secure your network “hive”.

Regulatory Developments and the Need for Compliance

With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to come into effect, any business that handles personal data must be well on track towards compliance.

The terms of GDPR ensure that businesses face concrete sanctions for non-compliance – namely administrative fines of up to €20m or 4 per cent of a company’s annual turnover (whichever is greater). In practice, they have a legal obligation to alert the relevant supervisory authority and, in some cases the customers affected, of a data breach within 72 hours of it occurring.

Data protection must form an integral part of the architecture of every organisation, considering the way people work and how it can be implemented as safely and efficiently as possible.

Data Privacy in a Cloud-Led World

Cloud-based technologies can provide powerful and agile customer experiences and flexibility for an increasingly IT led workforce. All organisations need to balance the level of importance of the data held, where it comes from, how it is hosted, and who it goes to, with the level of security measures they put in place.

Naturally, one of the main issues businesses may have about storing data in a public cloud is the loss of control. If the cloud provider itself is compromised, your data is vulnerable. Some SMEs, in particular, drawn in by the affordability and scalability of public cloud services, may not be fully aware of the risks presented by outsourcing their data.

Ultimately, whether you secure it in-house or through cloud-based technologies, the users are responsible. If upgrades and patches to applications are not made, they can be exploited.

Expansion of Data from the Internet of Things

High profile attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as the Mirai botnet, have left businesses pondering how to harness the undoubted power of IoT without sacrificing security. It is up to the business to ensure these devices – which are essentially remote controls for the world – are secure and remain accessible by authorised personnel and devices only.

If not secured, they are potentially open doors for any malicious organisations or individuals to gain access to networks or the device itself. Consequently, businesses need to seek expertise from professionals that are aware of the risks and vulnerabilities as well as the mitigation and prevention methods. It has been predicted that 20 billion connected devices will be in circulation by 2020, so the problem must be addressed and rectified before it gets out of control and risks global security.

Protecting Brand Reputation

Today’s 24-hour news cycle and the increased coverage of cyber security in the media means that the impact of a hack or data breach is far wider reaching than the loss of money or information.

It’s not just customers that are affected if security is breached; suppliers and partners are too. After a serious attack takes place and becomes public, the perception by media and social media of the organisation and its partners can nosedive within minutes.

Protecting Your Hive and its Colony

We are connected to each other day and night, and our technology hive only works if everyone is working together to protect the business. Only by analysing and defining the landscape first, can a decision be reached on the security measures to put in place.

A sustainable framework for data governance and security, crisis management procedures and IT architecture needs to be established to achieve a strong security ecosystem and should be at the heart of every piece of technology used.

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