Scaling Cybersecurity for Smaller Organizations

When hackers successfully breach large organizations, such as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or Sony Pictures, and steal massive amounts data, it quickly becomes front page news.  Therefore, multinational companies spend millions of dollars and hire thousands of security professionals to protect their networks and information.  However, it is a common misperception to believe the threat is greater to larger businesses because cybercriminals can get more information from these sources.  In fact, almost 60 percent of all cyber-attacks are directed against small business, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report.  Hostile cyber actors, whether they are criminal organizations, insider threats, or industrial espionage agents, look for what they perceive to be softer targets.  Small businesses have limited resources to devote to network security.  So, how can a medium to small company or organization protect their intellectual property?

Well the simple answer to that question is risk management, but of course that is easier said than done.  There are several risk management formulas to calculate risk, such as:

Threat x Vulnerability = Risk

Probability x Loss = Risk

(Threat + Vulnerability) – Mitigation = Calculated Risk

Throughout my 37-year Army career, I have used many variations of these models and each methodology can be effective.  However, almost universally, the risk management strategy gets bogged down because the right people or stakeholders are not involved in the assessment process.  Typically, a single staff officer would write the risk management strategy for the entire organization or enterprise.  Vice versa, in some situations everyone would try to play a part in the process to protect their own interests, without adhering to the bigger picture.  Therefore, decision makers would not have trust in the risk management process or strategy.

At Ascension Technical Group we can help your organization develop a tailored and cost-effective risk mitigation strategy to help protect your intellectual property.  More importantly, we can also help establish and implement lasting risk mitigation processes, which will enable your company to adapt to both changes in your business and counter emerging cyber threats.

Verizon Research Report, 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, accessed September 12, 2018. 

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