Whatever your industry, the pervasive nature of advanced technology today means that you need to be on the lookout for digital vulnerabilities. And while some of these weaknesses are structural, such as a major security issue found in Intel CPUs, these are comparatively minor when considered alongside the cause of most cybersecurity issues: a persistent skills gap that prevents businesses from hiring the experts necessary to keep their data safe.
If your business is going to pursue an aggressive cybersecurity strategy, you’ll need to pursue a multi-layered strategy that addresses this skills gap both today and in the future. Cyberattacks are only going to become more frequent, and your company needs to be prepared.
The Current Threat Environment
In order to understand the current digital threat environment, it helps to examine a restricted system; in this case, Microsoft devices. According to Microsoft’s security reports, the company is currently analyzing 6.5 trillion potential threats daily. This is in addition to scanning 1.2 billion devices, accounting for 5 billion device-based threats monthly.
It’s important to note that Microsoft’s analysis is of general devices, not high-profile accounts. For businesses that hold a substantial amount of sensitive information, the number of attacks relative to the number of systems is going to be higher and the fallout more serious.
Bridging The Skills Gap
Faced with so many threats, what can businesses do to protect their client’s data? The only option is a multi-pronged approach that includes training, disaster preparedness, and, of course, extensive financial investment.
The first step for businesses that want to protect their digital infrastructure is to prepare for a worst-case scenario, and one way to do that is by developing a protocol for data center cybersecurity drills. Practicing for these scenarios allows businesses to assess response time, identify weaknesses, and develop a communication plan that includes all stakeholders, legal representatives, and other key individuals. This plan will evolve as your business’s technology changes, as well as based on the development of in-house crisis management skills.
The next key step that your business should take to protect sensitive information is to train all of your staff in cybersecurity best practices. Remember, cybersecurity knowledge is critical to all employees, not just those in IT. While most employees won’t play an active role in cyberattack responses, their ability to manage data issues properly on a day-to-day basis is critical to system-wide security.
A Security Revolution
While developing general security protocols for your business is critical to overall security, to address the skills gap in the long-term, your business needs to take more aggressive steps. This includes, in the short-term, emphasizing cybersecurity bootcamps and internships that provide young professionals with the foundational skills they need to succeed in the field.
These training programs are most likely to reach college students and graduates, but the more widely such programs are offered, the more likely their lessons are to trickle down to younger people, encouraging them to take an interest in cybersecurity. This is all a lead-up to what’s being referred to as Generation Alpha – those born after 2010 – who will eventually bring a security-first mindset to the workplace. These future workers are just children now, but before you know it, they’ll be taking a seat in your workplace.
Finally, businesses shouldn’t overlook the importance of investing in new cybersecurity tools. Companies like CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm with a recent IPO, have developed around threat detection. CrowdStrike’s goal is to reinvent security to reflect the needs of cloud-based computer systems. By investing in such systems, rather than relying on an in-house security plan cobbled together by your staff, businesses may be able to standardize their security practices for quality assurance.
The cybersecurity skills gap is one of the most pressing professional issues today, and businesses need to take steps to meet these technological needs in the years until Generation Alpha enters the workforce. Security is too serious of an issue to wait for a natural solution to emerge. You need to be aggressive to keep your data safe.