Focussed approaches for a safer digital world
Companies want to take advantage of the increased efficiencies, high flexibility and cutting-edge innovation that digitisation brings. However, to their detriment, many companies have not taken the threat of internet-based attacks seriously enough. An incident involving malware or ransomware can halt business within minutes, and cost an organisation thousands of dollars to rectify. And the reputational damage of an IT security breach, especially if it involves personal customer data, is devastating.
With increased digitisation, there is a potential increase in the opportunities for cyber attacks. That’s why every company needs to take cybersecurity seriously and invest in measures to defend both their physical and intellectual property. To guarantee the best possible level of protection, digital security should be “built in” to every product, underlying business processes and at every organizational level, including global supply chains. By creating effective, secure barriers against threats and attacks, companies can win the battle against cyber risks.
The overall message is simple: Investing in cybersecurity gives organisations a competitive advantage and enables them to be market leaders in their respective industries.
Companies cannot just rely on the basic level security tools delivered with IT infrastructure and software. Today, cyber attacks are more sophisticated, targeted and effective than ever before. A holistic and overarching approach is the needed to ensure the highest levels of cybersecurity; an approach that not only secures physical infrastructure, IT hardware, and applications, but also educates and empowers employees to ensure any cybersecurity threats are minimised or even eliminated.
Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure, having corporate cybersecurity policies and certification, as well as promoting employee awareness, allows companies to proactively minimise threats. By protecting customer data, corporate intellectual property and essential infrastructure, companies can plan the digitisation of their business with confidence and take full advantage of the opportunities that await.
TÜV SÜD’s experts are specialists in cybersecurity advisory, assessment, training, audit, and certification. From cyber risk assessments and cybersecurity training, to carrying out security certification projects, our industry experts have successfully helped companies to improve their cybersecurity. With a structured approach to cybersecurity services developed from many years of experience, domain specific know-how and regulatory expertise, TÜV SÜD offers support to companies across a range of sectors. By helping organisations with compliance to global security standards, TÜV SÜD has ensured our clients have access to markets across the world.
Cybersecurity and data protection are part of our core competencies. From risk analysis, to the elimination of security vulnerabilities and the overall resilience of your business operations, TÜV SÜD is at your side at every step.
Cyber attacks can target different areas of a company – from physical infrastructure to IT hardware/software and even users themselves. Their aim is to take over and disrupt business processes, or steal corporate or personal data. Cybersecurity minimises or eliminates these threats using a selection of techniques including security software, intrusion and threat monitoring, access control and firewalls, and user awareness training.
Threats to infrastructure
Critical infrastructure, such as power generation, transport and telecommunications used to be stand-alone systems. Nowadays, they are more interconnected than ever and rely on a network of internet connections, servers and devices. The same is true of industrial infrastructure, such as production lines and distribution networks. By opening up infrastructure to take advantage of remote access/control and real-time monitoring through industrial control systems, companies are an easier target for DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Such attacks flood a server or network with unwanted internet traffic, which overwhelms the service and takes it offline.
Threats to corporate hardware and applications
Nearly every device in a modern office is connected to the corporate IT network – servers, PCs, laptops, mobile devices, printers, photocopiers, telephones. Even the most innocuous piece of hardware is open to a cyber attack and, once breached, might allow hackers to access critical systems. What’s more, despite extensive pre-release testing, software vulnerabilities are common place. If patches and updates are not installed regularly, hackers can take advantage of backdoor access to applications, easily taking over and reprogramming systems.
Threats to users and data
Most users easily identify emails offering them untold riches as spam – and usually ignore the temptation. However, what happens when an email arrives that appears to come from the HR Department with a request to download a file? Or a message is received from a potential client with a link to a website? These messages may be security threats containing hidden spyware, malware or computer worms. The intruders quietly replicate themselves over the network, slowing down resources, modifying or deleting files or even relaying data off site. But threats to data are not only confined to cyber attacks on a network. Loss or theft of unencrypted USB drives, unauthorised access to laptops or mobile devices when users are travelling, or sending an email containing data to the wrong person can all result in a damaging data breach.
Those behind cyber attacks are difficult to identify personally. A hacker’s aim is usually to disable networks, take websites offline or access sensitive data. Sometimes, hackers are motivated by personal gain; ransomware attacks, for example, block access to a computer or network which can only be released after a payment (ransom) has been made. Other times, hackers are driven by social change or a political cause and classify their activities as “hacktivism”, a type of online protest or civil disobedience.
It is very important that any connected system or device has a good level of cybersecurity to defend against any malicious actor trying to gain unauthorised access. Weak cybersecurity resilience can leave systems vulnerable to attack with consequences which could include loss of service, financial loss or even threats to personal safety.
Good Cybersecurity provisioning is the first line of defence against attack and varies greatly in its form depending on the type of threat. Below are some examples of cybersecurity in practice
OUR TOP 5 CYBERSECURITY TIPS
Here are 5 simple cybersecurity tips which you can action today to make your company more secure from cyber attacks
It is important not only to secure your own organisation and also your global digital supply chains, including 2nd tier and 3rd tier suppliers.
Embed cybersecurity within your products and services from the very begining. Adopt the principle of “security by default” by including cybersecurity in the design phase of any product, service or underlying process.
By increasing cybersecurity and risk awareness, you can use your employees as a “firewall”. Comprehensive training for employees and other relevant stakeholders is key to avoiding and mitigating cyber risks.
Obtain cybersecurity certification for products, services and business processes. Regular audits, particularly by a third party, are highly recommended. These meansures help establish a strong baseline in cybersecurity and also show your customers and partners that your company is well prepared to defend against cyber attacks.
Encourage an active and positive culture for employees to engage in cybersecurity, for example by participating in industry consortia or public-private projects on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for management and tricle down to all the parts of the organisation, irrespective of size and location.
Developing and implementing a cybersecurity plan does not have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. This is particularly true if you take advantage of the combined experience of TÜV SÜD’s cybersecurity experts to protect your vital data, systems and infrastructure. They can help you understand and achieve a solid foundation in cybersecurity based on current, industry specific standards including ISO27001 and IEC62443.
Network security is important in so far as it protects the underlying network infrastructure. It creates a secure, enclosed environment for hardware, users and programs. However, once connected to the internet, IT systems are open to digital attacks, unauthorised access and malicious use. Cybersecurity is the next level of protection against such threats.
IoT (Internet of Things) is the concept of connecting equipment such as monitoring and tracking devices, production machinery and HVAC systems to the internet to take advantage of real-time information and remote monitoring/control. Such devices are often seen as an easy target for hackers to gain access to an IT network as they sometimes lack the traditional security features of IT hardware. What’s more, these IoT devices, particularly in the consumer space, sometimes have access to personal information which needs to be protected as well. As such, it is vital that a cybersecurity framework is in place to safeguard such devices from malicious intrusion.
Yes! Cybersecurity is an overarching solution which not only covers physical infrastructure, IT hardware and end-devices, operating systems, programs and apps, but also secures IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS (Infrastructure-, Platform-, and Software-as-a-Service) on any type of cloud (public, private, or hybrid).
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