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Published: 20th November 2018 | In: Insights

The world today is changing, that’s for sure. While the rapid advances in modern technology have simplified many aspects of our daily lives, in certain others they have only made things more and more complicated. Cyber security is a prime example of this; with intellectual assets now often equally as or more valuable than physical ones, safeguarding sensitive information online is a key priority for any business owner, regardless of the size or industry they find themselves in.

Hackers, cyber-criminals and other threat actors are well aware of the rich rewards on offer from compromising a company’s security defences and employ ever more sophisticated methods to do so. Of course, this demands an equally intricate approach from those tasked with patrolling the cyber perimeter, but sometimes the very complexity needed to thwart cyber-attacks can hinder rather than help their implementation.

Simplicity as Sophistication

This is nowhere truer than when it comes to executives and decision-makers who may not have the specialist expertise to understand convoluted jargon or technical aspects, but still need to make effective and efficient decisions to safeguard their business. When faced with difficult-to-understand terminology and expensive software solutions that don’t immediately explain their value, efforts to implement cyber security can often fall away.

In these scenarios, the importance of Keeping It Short and Simple (KISS) cannot be overstated. If security departments can go to their CFO with a clear outline of how the proposed technological innovations will benefit the company in terms that can be easily understood, they’re far more likely to be successful in their petition for more funds or the implementation of new systems. In situations like this, simplicity is far preferable to even the most elegant kind of sophistry.

Knowing your strengths – and weaknesses

The first port of call when improving any existing security infrastructure is assessing its current state of proficiency. Recognising areas where the status quo is working well will allow you to devote the requisite time and resources to patching up areas where it isn’t. Furthermore, demonstrating this to a decision-maker in terms they can immediately and intuitively understand can eliminate the inter-departmental problems of communication which often scupper attempts to improve workplace practices.

For instance, the use of a diagram similar to the one above can be a quick and effective way to communicate to a non-technical person were the company is performing well in relation to cyber-security – and where it needs to improve. Having once identified these potential weaknesses, the SOC can then introduce measures designed to bolster online defences and shore things up in the face of hostile attacks. Getting the message across concisely can be all-important in bring about tangible change.

The SOC armoury in action

To take the above diagram as a basis, it can ascertained at a single glance that the company in question must improve their monitoring and incident management procedures in order to boost their online defences. The security professional can then list a number of tools or practices specifically designed towards targeting these problems, such as the introduction of simulated phishing attacks, a visual sweep of desktop security at the end of the day and a robust incident management protocol for when unwanted breaches do occur.

If the security team is able to quantify the benefits offered by these new innovations in monetary or otherwise numerical terms, they’ll be all the better equipped to convince those in charge that the measures are worth pursuing. Rather than trying to justify the ROI with hifalutin phrasing, unintelligible acronyms or other forms of obfuscation which can lead to a breakdown in understanding between the security and finance departments, it always makes sense to KISS and make up.

Calling in the professionals

Of course, it’s one thing calling for simplicity and transparency when justifying new security systems; it’s quite another achieving that in practice. The limited pool of resources available to many SMEs – both in terms of economics and employee expertise – can mean that cyber-security is playing second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to other areas of the business deemed more immediately important. While such an approach is entirely understandable, it also runs the risk of a breach occurring at any moment.

That’s where Quorum Cyber comes in. As a cyber security consultancy firm born in the Cloud, we’re well-versed in all aspects of how unscrupulous attackers can target companies – and how to stop them. We can demonstrate to the executives in a business how, where and why their systems fall short, and which tools they should implement to rectify those shortcomings. In turn, this takes the stress off those in charge of making decisions and provides them with the evidence they need to justify their outlay. For more information on how we can help your business, get in touch with us today.