Why Cyber Security is More Important Than Ever in 2021

Darren Body

In late 2020, Cantium surveyed over 1000 IT decision-makers. We found that only 2% of the public sector organisations had not moved to a remote working model, compared to 31% of private sector businesses. This shift has seen an acceleration in IT investment to provide the tools and technology for employees to work from home. Now that these tools are in place, employees are efficiently serving communities while working from remote locations. This investment must continue in 2021 to ensure the safety of our networks and data. Remote working is no longer a temporary measure.

The Solution to Cyber Security in 2021

With ransomware attacks up 900% year-on-year, you would be right to shift your attention to backups and disaster recovery. Being able to recover your systems and data when compromised is critical. With these solutions becoming more common, cyber criminals are looking not only to encrypt but also to access and sell sensitive data. So, you must look at your systems and processes together. Recovery isn’t about your technology spend, but your instant response plans and the people and processes behind it.

“You can build a thousand walls to protect your systems, but your employees will remain your most significant risk.

Remote working was one of the most extensive discussion points of 2020. Yet, do you understand the risks that it brings to your organisation? And are all your employees aware of their data protection obligations? Working from home blurs the barrier between personal and professional devices, providing you with less control than ever before. If your employees are accessing your network from their personal devices, it could be an easy point of access for cyber criminals.

Everybody thinks that they will not become the victim of an attack until they do. It’s only a matter of time until you are a target of cyber crime. It’s important to note that credit card data and email addresses aren’t only the targets anymore. In 2020, hackers targeted vaccine research, and their findings are likely to surface in 2021. Health and social care records, including patient data, are some of the most lucrative targets. So, do you know where your data is stored, as well as the provisions in place to protect them? More importantly, are you able to recover them quickly and ensure that they remain accessible to continue providing services to your citizens?

What 2021 Will Look Like for Your Security

As we enter 2021, technological advances, such as automation and machine learning, will simplify your processes. Yet, they can also make it easier for criminals as they learn how to manipulate these technologies. You should be assessing the risks that automation poses to your processes vs the efficiencies that it can bring. We’ve written about RPA, machine learning and its impacts on the public sector. As a managed service provider, we’d like to say managed services are the solution – but we can’t do the job alone. Cyber security is more business-critical than ever before, and you must take a multi-faceted approach.

You should be working with a reliable partner who has a good understanding of your challenges, knowledge and experience of working with various customers, and expertise in your area. Your challenges will be different if you’re in local government, education or the health sector, but you can learn a lot from a provider who has tackled challenges in different environments.

Firstly, you need to understand what you’re trying to do with your cyber security; what data and systems you’re trying to protect and why. Create a clear plan of action and make things as simple as possible for your employees. After all, they’re the easiest entry point to your network.

Cantium is an experienced provider of Cyber Security software, training and managed services. By working with the local government, education, health and private sectors, we have the expertise to support your organisation in securing your data and your systems. We also hold the Cyber Essentials Plus certification in our Security Operations Centre (SOC).

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