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As you build upon your defenses against cyberattacks, it’s important that you understand what you’re dealing with, industry experts say. Too often, people are under the impression that they must brace against the “big one” — a monumental “Cyber Pearl Harbor,” as U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described it years ago.
The cyber environment is different than that, said Marcus Sachs, vice president of national security policy at Verizon Communications. He was quoted in “Unlocking the Secrets of Cybersecurity,” a document recently released by the University of Maryland University College.
“We’re constantly being attacked, we’re constantly being penetrated,” Sachs said. “So, many would say that our cyber Pearl Harbor moment is actually in our past. We just don’t recognize it.”
L. William Varner, president and CEO of Mission, Cyber and Intelligence Solutions at ManTech International Corp., echoed that sentiment, pointing out that companies may not even realize they have been attacked because the data is still there, unlike a situation in which a thief takes a computer, TV or stereo system from your home. You may not realize that your intellectual property was stolen until later.
Even a company as large as RSA Corporation, which had complex cybersecurity measures, was breached, Varner said. “Here you have the best, and they get broken into, even though they’re doing everything right,” he noted.
Sachs and Varner also pointed out that there needs to be more information sharing, with more people being educating on how to keep themselves and their data secure. In preparing for a future in which everyone must defend against cyber attacks, the need to include cybersecurity education should be stressed for all degrees, he added.
If you’re in education, for example, you should have cybersecurity as part of your curriculum so that you can educate your students about the risks. “You need to understand cyberspace at a level where you can talk about it, just like you talk about American history, just like you teach math.”
While it’s important to educate their employees about the risks of cyberattacks, company officials also should minimize their risks by ensuring they have the expertise to stay on top of the issues. That’s why some companies should consider outsourcing as an option, Sachs said. The process for defending against them have become so complex that many business leaders are likely unequipped to handle it themselves.
“Cybersecurity is now emerging as one of those areas where you’re actually better off if you’re outsourcing it and using what’s emerging as managed security services,” he said.
With cybersecurity a constant threat to businesses of all sizes, it’s important to stay on top of the tools and processes that can protect your company. At Lifeline Data Centers, we stay updated on the latest developments. Talk to us about how we can do the same for you.