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With so many high-profile cyberattacks taking place across the globe on a daily basis, cybersecurity is a crucial subject that we cannot afford to ignore. As organisations adopt new digital channels, advanced analytics and emerging technologies, they face new risks that must be managed in order to make more confident business decisions – especially when it comes to the future.

Advances in Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, increased computer power and tools on the Dark Web are all enabling cyber attackers to launch ever more sophisticated and destructive attacks.

Businesses of all types and sizes are facing the constant threat of security breaches and cybercrime. From education and healthcare right through to manufacturing and financial services, this is an issue that all businesses need to be aware of, regardless of the industry they operate in.

When it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the security landscape has fast become both complicated and critical. This is particularly apparent with the growing number of businesses moving from paper to digital, which has led to an explosion in ransomware attacks.

Rethinking the Cloud Approach

Yes, a mass migration to digital has increased awareness of cloud technology, but many businesses are unaware of how vulnerable this leaves them – especially during the migration process.

When transitioning from paper to cloud-based operations, a business is exposed to its greatest level of risk. As such, detection is simply not enough to ensure protection; instead, prevention is the key to being secure.

Organisations also need to gain a stronger understanding of security in the cloud, instead of considering it as an afterthought in cloud deployments. Security solutions must evolve and adapt to the latest, most flexible cloud-based architectures to ensure scalable protection is delivered at speed.

How can we raise awareness across the board?

One of the biggest issues businesses face with regards to cybercrime is a lack of awareness. Organisations must be proactive about their approach to cybersecurity, and the message must be clearly communicated to all members of staff across the board. This will not only prevent disruption and loss of service, but will enable you to maintain your competitive advantage.

While there is always going to be a threat between end-user behaviour and cyber-vulnerability, there is also plenty of untapped potential among employees, who are on the front lines of defence against cyber-attacks.

Instead of being regarded as ‘the weakest link,’ employees should be empowered with the knowledge and awareness needed to detect a security breach. They should also be equipped with the right tools and skills to minimise risk.

From creating complex passwords to adopting safe internet habits, it’s essential to relay simple solutions to this complex problem. Encouraging them to act upon anything suspicious should make them more sceptical and more likely to report potential phishing emails, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and strategic.

What 2020 best practices should businesses adopt?

The enormous spread of technologies and solutions is forcing businesses to reimagine their operational approach to cybersecurity. For 2020 and beyond, businesses need to adopt a number of best practices, including curation and maintenance of cloud environments, and deployment that is repeatedly tested and configured at scale.

To remain competitive, businesses must constantly innovate, not just in the services offered but in how they are delivered. They must embrace new technologies, as well as the gradual emergence of risk mitigation strategies that match these new technologies.

Companies need to adapt their approach to security to drive a shift in thinking that addresses security in multi-cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other interconnected environments. If they don’t, they run the risk of negatively impacting sales and customer loyalty, while failing to appeal to millennials’ need for on-demand access.

Yes, threats will continue to evolve, but there are countless technologies at our disposal that can provide early and accurate detection of these activities, which help organisations stop an attack in its tracks before it is likely to do substantial damage.

With vulnerabilities to cybersecurity at every turn, it’s essential to know your risk exposures and how to improve your company’s defences. Finally, being properly equipped with the right tools to deal with the aftermath of an attack has never been more crucial.

Outsourcing your IT security requirements to an internationally experienced and knowledgeable team, such as Uniteam Global Business Services (UGBS), is highly advantageous.

With more than 25 years of experience, UGBS offers flexible Information Technology solutions designed to help organisations minimise their IT security risk exposure in today’s digitally connected world.

From IT strategy development and cloud migration to the development of governance procedures, UGBS offers affordable and accessible solutions to businesses of every type and size across the globe, including shipping, hospitality, real estate and much more.