Cyber-attacks are continuing to grow in both frequency and severity, and as businesses become increasingly digitised, security has become more important than ever.
Two of the biggest global risks for 2018, as identified by The World Economic Forum (WEF), are cybersecurity, and data theft and fraud – which topped the list alongside climate change and natural disasters.
“The impact of cyber threats can be as devastating to businesses as natural disasters,” said Marianne Van der Pluym, Micro Focus SECURE Portfolio sales manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, speaking at the Micro Focus Secure the New Roadshow in Johannesburg.
How cybercrime is affecting businesses today
The world is feeling economic pressure as a result of cyber-attacks, with Norton describing cybercrime as “a silent global digital epidemic”.
“Last year, override malware took down Ukraine’s power grid, meaning that cyberattacks can affect critical infrastructure,” Van der Pluym said. “Cybercrime can also affect major institutions, like the Bangladesh Bank who lost $81 million when its SWIFT software was hacked. In 2015, the European Aviation Safety Agency had to ground 10 planes as a result of a cybersecurity breach.”
The impact of data breaches on business reputation can be as catastrophic as the financial loss, as evidenced by attacks on global companies such as Equifax, Yahoo, and Uber, who lost share value, and consumer and investor trust as a result.
Important steps to protect your business
These high-profile data breaches have alerted organisations to the importance of safeguarding their data and networks, both now and for the future.
“It isn’t that easy to protect your enterprise’s data anymore, however. Good IT security strategies can be very effective in protecting networks, but cybercrime has evolved to a new level of complexity, and we now need a universal approach,” said Van der Pluym.
She offered the following 5 important steps for businesses looking to protect their data:
- Govern and secure your identities: Use complex passwords and different passwords for different sites, don’t click on unknown links in emails, only visit secure sites, and be wary of public Wi-Fi.
- Understand and manage your data: Protect your data with encryption, monitor your network diligently, and back up regularly.
- Protect your data while preserving its format: Format-Preserving Encryption (FPE) securely encrypts structured data while preserving the original formatting of the plaintext data.
- Secure and govern your applications and access: Continuously monitor changes in application risk, perform deep security scans, and protect applications in real time.
- Use analytics-driven decision making to respond quickly to threats: Real-time information and analysis of security events as they occur allows for quicker threat identification and mitigation.
Information risk platform
To enable businesses to easily implement these steps, Micro Focus has developed an information risk platform – an open, intelligent, and comprehensive approach to “Secure the New”.
“Our information risk platform offers a layered approach to ensure that enterprises have a deep, postured response to security,” said Van der Pluym. “We can help you to conquer your digital transformation and deliver security intelligence and risk management at the core of everything you do.”
The solutions comprise a best-in-class, enterprise-grade security platform with built-in scalability and analytics to drive security. These innovations include:
- Native, real-time log parsing, security data enrichment and normalisation.
- Built-in security analytics and enhanced dashboards.
- Intelligent real-time event data from Azure Active Directory to SIEM solutions.
- Data-centric security hosted by AWS.
- Secure application testing both in DevOps and in production.
“Micro Focus is a leading global enterprise software company and we manage over 100-million identities in South Africa alone, with 55-million active identities under management for Vodacom, whose identities we secure end-to-end,” said Van der Pluym. “We have very strong leadership credibility and offer a world-class portfolio of enterprise-grade scalable solutions.”
For more information, visit the Micro Focus website.
This article was published in partnership with Micro Focus.