Businesses must prioritize information security in today’s digital era to protect themselves as well as their customers from cyber-attacks. Cybercrime is on the rise, and the implications of data breaches may be crippling for companies of all kinds. Regrettably, many organizations still consider security an afterthought and do not factor it into the planning process. This practice can have serious implications, such as financial loss, data breaches, and reputational damage.
Reactive instead of proactive
When companies fail to plan for information security, they become reactive instead of proactive. Reactive security solutions are frequently more expensive and ineffective than proactive ones. When they address security after the start of the project, it requires considerable changes to the system. This results in delays and cost increases. Proactive security measures may implement early on, making the process more frictionless and efficient.
Doing a thorough risk assessment to detect vulnerabilities and threats, creating security policies & procedures, teaching workers about security best practices, and routinely testing and upgrading security measures are all examples of proactive security measures. Businesses may guarantee that security measures are integrated into the system and developed to fit the project’s unique objectives by including security in the planning process from the start.
Increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks
Cyber-attacks are growing more complex, and companies are frequently unprepared to deal with them. When businesses don’t build security into a project from the start, it creates vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. Hackers are constantly on the lookout for flaws in security systems, and a company that has disregarded security measures is an obvious target. Cyber-attacks can result in sensitive data theft, financial loss, and reputational harm.
According to a Verizon analysis, small firms were implicated in 43% of data breaches in 2019. According to the research, the cost of a data breach for a small organization might be as high as $2.5 million. These statistics emphasize the significance of addressing information security from the start.
Legal and regulatory compliance
Due to legal and regulatory constraints, most sectors must comply with certain security standards. Noncompliance with these standards may result in penalties, legal action, and reputational harm. When businesses don’t build security into a project from the start, meeting these criteria becomes difficult, resulting in non-compliance.
For example, the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act applies to the healthcare business (HIPAA). HIPAA mandates healthcare providers to employ particular security measures to secure patient information. HIPAA violations can result in hefty financial penalties, legal action, and reputational harm.
Apart from HIPAA, firms must also comply with the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Each of these legislation has unique security criteria that firms must achieve, and including security in the planning process from the start may assist in assuring compliance.
Damage to reputation
A data leak may be disastrous to a company’s reputation. Consumers demand the security of their data, and a breach may lead to a loss of trust and confidence. A breach can also result in bad media coverage, which can harm a company’s reputation.
According to a Kaspersky poll, 40% of customers would cease doing business with a firm that suffered a data breach. This diagram emphasizes the significance of safeguarding sensitive information as well as the implications of failing to implement security measures.
Costly remediation efforts
When businesses implement security as an afterthought, it frequently necessitates extensive system changes to solve vulnerabilities. These modifications might be expensive and time-consuming. Hiring security experts, introducing new security technology, and teaching personnel about security best practices are all examples of remediation activities. The expense of cleanup operations can be substantial, especially for small firms.
According to IBM research, the average data breach cost in 2020 would be $3.86 million. According to the research, the longer it takes to detect and contain a breach, the more expensive it gets. Including security in the planning process from the beginning can help lessen the likelihood of a breach and cut the cost of cleanup activities.
Businesses may fail to capitalize on possibilities that require security measures if they do not prioritize security. For example, a company may lose a contract with a government agency that requires strict adherence to security requirements. Businesses that ignore security measures restrict their potential options and risk losing valuable contracts and relationships.
Integrating security into the planning process from the start may assist firms in capitalizing on possibilities that necessitate security measures. Businesses may demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive data and complying with legal and regulatory obligations by implementing security measures.
How to prioritize information security from the outset
Prioritizing information security from the start necessitates a proactive strategy with multiple phases. These stages are as follows:
- Perform a thorough risk assessment: The first step in identifying vulnerabilities and threats is to conduct a thorough risk assessment. A risk assessment should examine the assets you must safeguard, prospective risks, and the consequences of a breach. Businesses may establish effective security measures by detecting weaknesses and threats early on.
- Adopt security policies and processes: Businesses should tailor their security policies and procedures according to the project’s requirements. And should include access controls, incident response plans, and data backup and recovery plans in policies and procedures.
- Workers have an important role in information security; teaching them about security best practices is critical. They should include security incident identification and reporting, password management, and safe surfing behaviors in training.
- Frequently test and update security measures: Security measures should be checked and updated regularly to guarantee their effectiveness. Vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and social engineering tests should occur.
- Consider outsourcing your security requirements: Outsourcing security requirements to a third-party supplier may bring several advantages, including access to specialist knowledge, 24/7 monitoring, and cost savings. Outsourcing may also assist firms in meeting legal and regulatory obligations by giving them access to cutting-edge security technology and processes.
Organizations must prioritize information security to secure sensitive data, comply with legal and regulatory obligations, and preserve consumer trust in today’s digital era. Neglecting security measures can lead to reactive rather than proactive security measures, greater exposure to cyber-attacks, noncompliance with legal and regulatory requirements, reputational harm, costly remediation operations, and missed opportunities.
Businesses can prioritize information security by conducting a thorough risk assessment, implementing security policies & procedures, training employees on best practices, regularly testing and updating security measures, and considering outsourcing security needs to a third-party provider. Businesses may defend themselves from cyber dangers and capitalize on possibilities by including security in planning.
Professionals wanting to further their careers and education can take this course to advance their practical knowledge and managerial skills and concentrate on cutting-edge problems and opportunities in management information systems.
Eliminate system failures and reduce the chances of losing important data with official CISSP training.
Once you have employees with the CISSP certification, they will demonstrate their skills to benefit your business with –
- Full understanding of how to secure or protect confidential business data from hackers.
- Skills to analyze risks and be aware of the common hacker strategies that can affect your business. They can determine the weak point of the organizations and work on them.
- Aptitude in improving not only the customer but also employee privacy ensuring all the information stays with the business only.
Get (ISC)2 CISSP Training & Certification and increase your business visibility as well as credibility in the cybersecurity market. Cognixia is the world’s leading digital talent transformation company that offers a wide range of courses, including CISSP training online with a comprehensive CISSP study guide.
Here’s what you will cover in this course –
- Learn and apply the concepts of security & risk management
- Gain an understanding of security engineering to protect information by exploring and examining security models and frameworks
- Learn how to identify, categorize, & prioritize assets
- Examination and security network architecture and its components
- Learn how to identify & control access to protect assets
- Designing and conducting security assessment strategies, logging, & monitoring activities
- Developing a recovery strategy and maintaining operational resilience
- Learn how to secure the software development cycle