Is your business ready to handle a cyberattack?

Everyone involved in the operation of a business, from general management through to IT, needs to ensure that security is at the top of the priority list.

Companies are starting to adopt new technologies now more than ever before, investing in both onsite applications and cloud-based storage systems. However, regardless of the type of IT investment, there's a significant risk to security if proper precautions aren't taken.

Managers need to make sure staff are aware of the dangers of negligence, and IT professionals should put the right security measures in place and carry out frequent checks.


In a recently released study, research firm Gartner explained that the frequency of cyberattacks on a large scale is currently low, but organisations are beginning to adopt formal security plans. In fact, by 2018 40 per cent of large enterprises will have formal plans in place to deal with an "aggressive cybersecurity business disruption attack".  

"Gartner defines aggressive business disruption attacks as targeted attacks that reach deeply into internal digital business operations with the express purpose of widespread business damage," explained vice president and distinguished analyst Paul Proctor.  

"Servers may be taken down completely, data may be wiped and digital intellectual property may be released on the Internet by attackers. Victim organisations could be hounded by media inquiries for response and status, and government reaction and statements may increase the visibility and chaos of the attack."

He also noted that employees may not be able to correctly perform their roles within the business for months. Obviously, there is a clear-cut need for strong security strategies that can handle even the most vicious threats.

But what can businesses do to ensure security, beyond simply implementing security software and other systems onsite?

What companies need to do

Aside from formal security plans like those listed above, managers can take advantage of another useful security practice that will likely see increasing use over the next few years.

So-called 'social engineering' is a way of ensuring that staff security measures are up to standard by testing them with an array of scenarios. For example, the business will send fake malicious sites via email to staff, and test to see how many of them actually click the links.

Flash drives can also be left throughout the workplace to achieve a similar effect – those who plug them in could be exposing the company to risk.

Social engineering can help to identify flaws in a security strategy that go beyond simple software. It's important to consider such an endeavour to achieve the highest level of security.

Staff training should also rank as a top priority, as it can help employees to identify actions that could lead to breaches. For example, the business could outline prominent circulating attacks and the best practices to avoid them.

What other measures are available?

When undertaking any new security or IT strategy, it's important to consider more than the systems alone. A proven IT framework can be used to ensure that the new technologies or systems are implemented while also being aligned with business goals.

For example, the company may put new IT security systems in place but want assurances that the implementation is carried out without problems.

ITIL is essentially designed to help businesses use IT to achieve transformation and growth, it's the perfect option.

Security should become a top priority for businesses, especially given just how dangerous a cyberattack can be. It's definitely going to be preferable to dealing with the fallout from an attack.