What Are Cybersecurity Controls?
The Internet has become a critical tool in allowing the show to go on, however, with its use skyrocketing, it has also generated a platform for disruption and crime, affecting most businesses. We like to say that the only safe computer is the computer that is turned off. And so, if you are using anything that is connected to the Internet, Cybersecurity should be at the top of your priority list. However, the task does not have to be daunting. While it can be tempting for Organizations to perceive their systems and networks as inactive compounds of wires that, once secured, will stay that way, the reality is that anything connected to the Internet is more like a live existence requiring continuous monitoring and protection. But what exactly is Cybersecurity, and what are Cybersecurity controls? Read on.
What is Cybersecurity
The term Cybersecurity is thrown around a lot lately, but essentially it boils down to the management of risk that’s stemming from Internet connections. This includes the threats of hackers, malicious software and any vulnerabilities in the systems and networks.
Evaluating Your Cybersecurity Control Strategy
Every business should have appropriate controls in place to protect its assets in the form of Cybersecurity policies, procedures, and technical solutions. The controls should be fit to mitigate the risks by deterring, preventing, detecting the Cyberattacks, and correcting and remediating the damage caused by an attack.
The effectiveness of those controls must be considered in line with possible threat scenarios. The risk of a Cyberattack starts with the possibility of a threat, which must be analyzed to determine the likelihood of the event. This is achieved by considering the likely con artists, their capabilities, resources, and motivation. What might be the drive behind a con artist’s intention to perform an attack on your business? This could be a financial gain, to obtain intelligence, or to cause disruption. However, the attacker will only proceed with the attack if the results outweigh their costs and resources.
Once the above is considered, you might then begin to look at the potential vulnerabilities in the organization’s networks, servers, or workstations, which the attackers could exploit to their advantage. Once the prospective vulnerabilities have been identified, you must think about the impact on the business if an attack was to take place. This will enable you to determine what areas will be affected the most and the potential cost implications.
Applying Cybersecurity Controls
Cybersecurity controls are the measures deployed to manage threats targeting computer systems and networks. The controls keep changing and adapting to the ever-evolving Cyber environment. This is why every organization should understand the best controls for them and ensure that a multilayered control system is adopted. Typically, controls fall into the following categories:
Deterrent controls reduce the risk of a threat. An example of this would be video surveillance or alarm systems, which deter the criminals from carrying out their attacks.
Preventative controls are designed to prevent Cyberattacks and stop the attack from succeeding by not allowing it to get at an asset to exploit the system or network vulnerability. Examples of this control are Firewalls, encryption, access control, antivirus software, and many more.
Detective controls are used to detect that an attack has taken place. A burglar alarm system is a typical detective control. However, in Cybersecurity, examples of detective controls would include security event log monitoring, threat detection, or antivirus identification of malicious code.
Corrective controls are typically applied after an incident to reduce the impact and restore the systems as soon as possible. An example of this control would be restoring the operating systems or the recovery from the data backups.
In this day and age, some degree of threat is inevitable even for the most careful of organizations. When it happens, the difference between an inconvenience and a catastrophe will be how well prepared the organization is to respond to the incident.
While the controls detailed in this post represent a critical foundation, their effectiveness counts on supportive teams and processes to use them effectively. It is worthwhile to remember that security starts with people, not technology.