6 Reasons You Need a Cyber Security Team

James Spear

James Spear,
Global Head of Cyber and Information Security,
NP Group

Every day we read new articles about the latest cyber security threat or hacking, affecting the most well-known brands in the world. It’s no longer an option to say “we don’t need cyber security”. The statistics prove it – everyone is at risk. In fact, CSO state that cyber-crime damage costs will hit $6 trillion annually by 2012, and as a result cyber security spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2020.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more and more organisations are turning to building expert cyber security teams within their organisation, resulting in a huge demand for talented individuals. In my last blog, I wrote about the information security talent shortage, but in this blog I wanted to share the top 6 reasons why you need to address these shortages, and build you cyber security team. There are ways around the talent shortage, and it isn’t an excuse to neglect your cyber security team.

1. Data Is Everywhere

The exponential increase in the amount of data is upon us. Sources predict data growth toward 2020 and beyond, with the digital universe doubling every two years at least. The reasons for the increase in data collection can be partly attributed to the actionable insight you can draw from raw data. It can massively benefit companies, and give them a competitive edge when they have access to this data. But on the flip side, they are also open to huge threat from cyber criminals.

Think about Equifax - in 2017 they faced an application vulnerability on one of their websites that led to a data breach that exposed some 143 million customers, with 209,000 customers also having their credit card data exposed. With the amount of data we hold, the risks of cyber attacked increase, and you need your chief information security officer on-board with a team ready to protect your organisation from the increasing threat.

2. Regulatory Requirements

The UK Government is seeking to improve cyber risk management in the wider economy through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force in May 2018. There will also be measures to more clearly link data protection with cyber security. With this in mind, compliance with regulatory requirements provides a key reason why you need a cyber security team. To ensure your IT is secure, and you are compliant with regulations, you need the individuals on-board and within your organisation. You may decide to turn to an information security consultancy if you are a small organisation looking for one-off input, but if you are a larger organisation and need full-time expertise for a large operation, it may be information security recruitment agencies like NP Information and Cyber Security you turn to when building your team. Either way, regulatory compliance is a must - there's no debate around that.

3. Popularity Of Bring Your Own Devices

With the number of mobile devices officially outnumbering the number of people on Earth, it's no wonder that BYOD has become so popular. In the USA, over 80 percent of enterprises are now allowing employees to use personal devices to connect to corporate networks according to Forbes. People have come to expect the same ease in the use of work related technology as they have in their personal lives - and if their personal device equips them better than that provided by the employer, then why shouldn't they use it? It's a policy we adopt here at NP Group, but we also recognise the security issues this can raise if not managed correctly. BYOD removes a level of protection organisations previously had. Your network becomes less defensible because people are using their own devices and connections rather than the organisations, removing their link to your security. This means you need a team in place to properly manage the use of BYOD, and to even manage the roll-out and implementation if you are not there yet.

4. The Changing Cyber Security Threat Landscape

In my colleague Therese's previous blog, she highlighted a new cyber security threat - that in solar panels. It's something that many may not associate with information security, but it just goes to show that nothing is safe. No matter what industry you are in, the threat of information security breaches is real, hence the need to address it whatever organisation you are. Your team need to stay on top of the latest threats. This could be anything from constant research, to testing the security infrastructure of your organisation, and even running mock phishing attempts against colleagues to check that attempts to exploit the human element cannot be successful against your organisation.

5. It's Important To Your Board

In a recent report from MCAFEE, they state that 97 percent of survey respondents say their organisation's board of director’s views cyber security as important. This elevated importance of information security is just one more reason why you can't ignore the InfoSec space. 5 years ago, according to MACAFEE, cyber security wasn't even in the top 10 risks prioritised by boards. This means that the role of the chief information security officer is also changing. They're no longer just a consultative figure, but need to have a team beneath them to deploy when attacks occur, and prevent attacks in the first place. They have full responsibility to the board, but need the support of a cyber security team beneath them in to deliver this.

6. Your Employees Need To Be Aware

As touched upon, the human element can be one of the ways that cyber threats infiltrate your organisation. As a result, you need a security culture within a business, which requires training and awareness. As part of your CISO's responsibilities, there should be an objective to "ensure that every employees in an organisation is aware of the potential threats they could face, whether it's a phishing email, sharing passwords or using an insecure network" (Information Age). Behind this security culture are the internal processes you have in place to ensure the culture can thrive. To do this, you need to set and establish security procedures, and include these in employee training. It's a constant feat to maintain a security culture, which means you need to consistently review and update your policies and procedures. Therefore, a one of cyber security consultancy approach isn't fit for purpose, as you need an on-going information security consultancy approach, managed by your team of information security professionals to keep this up to date.

I think with these reasons in mind, no organisation can stick to the theory that IT security isn't important to them. It's a huge beast, but with the right cyber security recruitment strategy in place to build your team of experts, it can be seen as an opportunity to enhance your organisation and its security status.

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