Don’t Let Your Guard Down, Otherwise You Could Lose It All!

Just one mistake could cost a fortune in repairs or even result in irreparable damages to your organisation. Look at your organisation like a “Star Wars” movie, what you think is impossible can actually be possible if you don’t take action!

A simple subscription to a movie streaming service got me thinking about how we put ourselves at risk day after day.

I recently bit the bullet and subscribed to Netflix.

After going through everything that was available, I decided to settle on a little light hearted cartoon, “The Clone Wars,” which is the transition cartoon series between episodes 2 and 3 of “Star Wars”.

As I watched a couple of episodes, I thought of something.

Like digital security, the never ending war between business and cyber criminals is similar to the war between the clones or Jedi, which are the rebels, and the republic.

It is also relatively predictable. Build something, protect it, use it to threaten the universe and then forget about that little flaw that could cause big problems later on.

This Means War!

The republic built these huge killing machines, systems for destroying planets then they protect them with all manner of defenses.

They have shields, attack fighters and big guns fighting on their side. Their attitude is that they are safe, no one will get through and that absolutely no one will penetrate the defense.

Doesn’t that sound familiar, just like the business world?

In the “Star Wars” movies, we always have the “oops!” moment.

We forgot to secure that component, our defenses were not focused on that type of attack or we didn’t even think about it.

I mean, “Why would they attack us there?”  All of the movies in the “Star Wars” series have been based on that kind of thought process.

There is a Villain Just Waiting for us to Look Away

If we just look away for a moment, we could be leading to our organisation’s downfall.

You have to keep focused and make sure more than one pair of eyes has carefully scrutinized the situation, working to keep the cyber criminals at bay.

In every movie, there has always been some supreme villain, that one person in charge, who knows everything!Once again, doesn’t this sound like today’s business security? This is an attitude that is easily seen in today’s business world. “I have built this secure system and no one can get in as it cannot be penetrated!”

That is, until the cyber criminal gets in and ruins it all!

We constantly lose focus and take our eye off the prize.

We forget to do that really critical, all important thing, and that leaves us vulnerable enough to fall victim to the threats that lurk.  It is like leaving the exhaust port open on the Death Star.

Now wasn’t that a good idea?

Billions of dollars have been lost because someone forgot to weld on a grill on the port or thought that it was not important. We all forget that the cyber criminal simply needs just that sort of accidental omission to get in and wreak havoc.

You Aren’t as Safe as You Think!

Most organisations have been sold at one time or another, and in the selling process, the owners have been lied to about digital protection.

Their product is the ultimate defensive system, according to the story. It will do it all! It is able to protect you here, protect you there, it is completely safe. It will make it impossible to compromise your system; there is no way around it.

It does not matter if it has been a hardware vendor like Cisco, a software vendor like Symantec or anyone else — they have sold you a bill of goods and implied that their product is the “silver bullet” that will do it all and protect you from anything evil that is lurking in the shadows.

Like attacking the republic and their deadly war machines, there is always a way in, a way through, or a way round any defenses that you may have in place.

The Threat Remains, Nothing Comes Without Risk

Remember, nothing is 100% certain and safe.

If we forget something, they will turn it around and use it as a weapon against us. Firsthand knowledge of how an attack happens has made me understand that all of our defenses are as safe as our weakest link.

Making sure that your organization has no weak links is probably the most serious step involved in the process of penetration testing.

Consider it as a white glove test being conducted in a room filled with dirt and grime. Giving you external (that word is critical) feedback to protect your organization and reduce the chance of omissions, mistakes or errors.

You Need an Extra Set of Eyes

An extra set of eyes, outside of your organisation and your security people. You need to have eyes that are looking for these problems, reporting on any problems or issues discovered while they are ready to get to work giving you resolutions, solutions and processes to improve your all-important cybersecurity.

So if you do not want to end up like the Death Star, with parts of your organization scattered all over the digital universe, take action now and get your digital security system thoroughly inspected. You don’t want to wait until it is too late and your organisation has suffered devastating, irreparable consequences.

Be Proactive, Be Vigilant and Keep Watch

Regardless of how secure you believe your organisation is in this day and age, you must be aware that there is always a way around security and a way in your organisation where damage can be done. Despite knowing so much about your system, and how it works, you need to be aware that just one small emission or an error can cause major damage to your operations.

Your organization can actually be destroyed by a cybercriminal, resulting in your clients and suppliers losing faith in you because of data breeches. Your organisation has worked hard to gain trust and to attain its placement in its industry.

You Cannot Have Too Much Protection!

If you are serious about growth and you take pride in your organisation’s achievements, you will have several pairs of eyes ensuring your organisation’s system remains safe and secure on all levels. Keep your information away from wandering eyes. Ask your digital security expert to help you ensure your day to day operations stay as safe and secure as possible.

Don’t risk losing it all just because of an open door or a lock that wasn’t latched. Put extra precautions in place to make sure your organisation is really protected as much as it possibly can be protected. So to sum it up, keep Darth Vader out of your operations and don’t let your own system be used against you! Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is completely fool-proof.

Stay Alert!

The only thing you can do is to be proactive, keep a watch and make sure at least one more set of eyes is watching as well. With the right approach and vigilance, you can keep your organisation safe and functioning at maximum capacity. With the right attentiveness and action, you can make sure your organization stays out of Darth Vader’s grasp.

Remember, nothing is fool-proof and there is always a secret passage that can let crooks in! You can never be too cautious! Protect yourself, your system and your clients!

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.