Why Cybersecurity Is More Important Now Than Ever

Despite which side of the political aisle your ideas land on, there is little debate that cybersecurity continues to be a hot issue. However, the debate over how best to go about treating these threats swiftly and amicably rages on.

Whether it be governments, individuals, or enterprises - the cybersecurity world at large has seen a complete and total resurgence of threats with all of these groups under fire. Even with the best defense, no machine is safe, and the stakes are higher than ever. We need innovative outlooks on these problems, especially considering the cybersecurity war has turned into an all-out arms race of good versus bad.

The Stakes just keep rising

One needs to point no further than the recent 2016 US Presidential Election. As stated, cybersecurity was a widely debated issue throughout the entirety of the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The notion of cyber-warfare among governments is not new, but with the recent spat between the USA and Russia, it certainly feels like we have entered a new reality.

This battle has become so prioritized within the United States Political sphere that the newly sworn in President Trump has vowed to make cyber-warfare an official priority for the White House. The stakes are so high that some have even said that cyber-attacks “can threaten American democracy as we know it”.

Although now it is the forefront of polarization, it does not mean that this was not being fought already. In fact, the US Army has been assembling a cyber army of its own. The US Military proposed that they build their own groups of 133 teams for what they dubbed the “cyber mission force.” Cyber-attacks can be considered acts of war, and thus effectively will be treated like such.

It’s not just for governments

Though it may not threaten our democracy, corporate cybersecurity is still monumentally important in the fight against cyber-hostility, and the threat can inflict an unquantifiable level of damage if not managed responsibly. Although just around 33% of cyber-attacks succeed, this number is still far too high.

The only reason the numbers reach this level, according to experts, is due to an unprecedentedly high volume of attacks. In the effort to mitigate the statistic, spending in this sector is estimated at nearly $84 billion to defend sensitive data that, if compromised, can inflict $2 trillion in damage.

What can be done

Enterprises will and must continue to play defense; erecting the best defense systems and employing the latest in detection will never go away. Also, the sharing of intelligence through groups like Cyber Threat Alliance will be integral to these defensive strategies.

At the same time, organizations accept that they need beef up their ability to respond after an attack. Companies like Contrast Security have built its model on protecting yourself by exploiting your own points of vulnerability. Datavisor works on the notion that big data analytics can lead you to malicious campaigns. Other organizations like Siemplify have constructed solutions around threat management and response.

In layman’s terms, the groups cited above (along with other industry professionals) acknowledge that breaches will occur. What is most productive is being given the tools to respond before truly devastating damage can be inflicted.

In other words, attacks inevitably will happen. Breaches will occur. What is most productive is being given the tools to respond before true devastating damage can be inflicted. The idea is to build a proverbial fence, accepting that it will be penetrated. What counts is having the foresight to know it; that way you can effectively stop the threat at the point of attack by going on offense before any notable damage is inflicted.

With the stakes rising and the cost of a breach remains evermore debilitating, governments and organizations of all sizes are rethinking their cyber-strategy. With the never ending arms race in the battle between good guys and bad guys, security users are forced to up their game across the entire threat lifecycle - prevention, detection, response. Cybersecurity is at the forefront of global concern now more than ever, and it is our job to work together to keep our machines protected.

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