To view data sovereignty using a narrow lens may suffocate growth. It is recommended to deploy progressive and forward-thinking cyber strategies as we transition into a highly digital post-pandemic world.
Data privacy and protection have turned to be a point of contention as users’ private and confidential data is perceived to be easily accessible, ready to be tested, and replicated by machines for analyzing user behavior, surveillance, advertising, and other malicious objectives.
In the first half of 2020, Covid-19 upended ‘business as usual,’ and global relations are tested as governments focus on protecting jobs and appease impatient citizen groups. Data sovereignty has remained a heated discussion topic as European states enacted GDPR.
Over in Asia, nations with huge populations like Indonesia and India have been evaluating options to safeguard citizens’ data, and keeping data ‘on-soil’ has turned the vernacular among politicians. And today, even as rules are enacted to enforce data privacy, data sovereignty and protection can still be a burning issue.
Cyber risks and threats exist no matter where data is stored – it is the execution of robust cybersecurity strategies that can efficiently protect businesses and citizens’ data.
Instead of the repressive and authoritarian approach to data management under the pretext of ‘for the good of all,’ one would be better off promoting an open system for innovation, trade, and economic growth to flourish while assuring private and confidential data staying in safe and responsible hands.
Many nations face common technical challenges while trying to mitigate risks in the face of conflicting priorities. The following cybersecurity strategies will allow businesses to untangle the web of confusion, remove the reclusive mentality, and start embracing digital ecosystems confidently.
Approach cybersecurity holistically
To mitigate the fear of data breaches and cyber threats, enterprises need to adopt an intelligence-centric mindset. The statement ‘knowledge is power’ is highly relevant in this case. Leaders need to estimate the risks coming from the outside and be well-prepared and equipped to handle adversaries before the break of actual cyber-attacks.
A thorough understanding of “who, what, and why” about threat actors is important to counter any probable attack. A holistic threat landscape view will allow cybersecurity teams insights into digital risk, cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities, hackers’ interest, out of band, early warning, malware, and phishing campaigns to gauge looming cyber threats and risks.
Cybersecurity teams need to deploy a comprehensive approach to managing data, and this requires management, strategic, and tactical cyber-intelligence. Such multi-layer deployment invokes not mere security operations personnel but also governance and risk leaders. Corporate risk policy changes are required to ensure that cyber threats do not turn into cyber-attacks.
Regulatory environment that needs to change
Governments may have enacted cyber laws, but that’s not enough to enforce them. Another critical area would be to impose vulnerability assessment and mandatory risk, at least biannually, on large enterprises. This will help identify real-time threats, and remediation can take place to close any existing cybersecurity gaps.
Another approach would be to start attack vector assessments at least annually. These assessments will unveil new attack surfaces as firms adopt new digital formats and establish further supplier-partner-customer connectivity.
A cyber reward culture can be cultivated where the discovery of vulnerabilities and bugs are rewarded. This effort will help the cybersecurity community grow and promote a culture of joint solutions and knowledge sharing.
People, Process, Technology, and Governance
For many SMBs looking to ensure cyber resilience, it is crucial to building a basic cyber hygiene level. The priority is ‘people’ as employees must be educated on cyber threats and existing risks. This is particularly vital to eradicate the prevalence of social engineering hacking campaigns and phishing attacks.
From the technology perspective, businesses need to incorporate layered defenses with gateway-based security, data, endpoint security, automated scanning, regular monitoring, and malware removal.
Antivirus solutions, data protection, and loss detection, and VPN solutions need to be incorporated. When it comes to processes, firms should perform threat profiling, threat segmentation, risk containerization, and zoning.
Keeping the core content encrypted is both necessary and prudent. The basic process of daily data backup is an acceptable policy to adopt too. Considering governance, businesses should inculcate excellent cyber threat visibility and intelligence program for developing a robust cybersecurity strategy.
Innovation, open systems, entrepreneurship, inter-connection – these are views that result in fresh growth possibilities.
It is prudent to deploy progressive and forward-thinking cyber strategies as the world marches into a totally digital post-pandemic world.