The spread of Internet has revolutionized the way in which businesses are conducted. The use of e-mails, instant messages and web applications has improved communication vastly.
The Internet is nothing but a gigantic and ever growing network of computers. It has reengineered business processes. Many of the routine operations that a company needs are met by the cyber age automation. For example, client relation management, payroll, HR, analysis of processes, engineering design and other functionality that a company needs are handled by computers. Networking has provided one more advantage. Suppose you are cyber security companies located at Ontario, Canada and have a branch office in India. If your company processes are online, both the offices can access the same data instantaneously. The networking of computers has thus significantly reduced company overheads and improved productivity. Today, all the banks, stock exchanges, consumer stores are online, and facilitate e-commerce. Even the governments – from developed countries like Canada and developing countries like India – have gone online for dissemination of information and even online payment of income tax, utility bills and so on.
While all these changes in the way business is conducted have improved the profitability of companies and countries alike, it is not without risks. One of the most important risk company’s face today is that of compromising highly confidential information. Almost all the information that is available on servers is database driven, and a tech savvy person can easily steal this information, especially if it is not secure. As the dependence on cyber information increases, the risk due to information failure also increases. Malicious hackers and industrial spies steal precious research and other company data, intellectual property as well as customer data. This breach of cyber security causes not only financial losses to a company, but also tarnishes its reputation.
Information Security Assessment
Sadly, most organizations do not have adequate understanding of the information security risks. In fact, in most enterprises, even in as developed regions as Ontario or countries like Canada, U.S. or Europe and other developed nations, there is not enough awareness of information security. True, most companies have an IT department, but there is genuine dearth of knowledge in matters related to security. One of the biggest obstacles to information security is that any lapse is not easily detected. It is only when some serious breach occurs that a company really starts paying attention to information security. Apart from lack of awareness, there are other factors that leave companies vulnerable:
i. Security tools and checklists quickly become obsolete as new threats emerge.
ii. There is lack of standardized security metrics and processes
iii. Weak information security policies
One of the best security measures a company can therefore take is to get an external service provider to audit their information security.
There are several companies that specialize in providing IT security services. These service providers usually correlate the assets (data, networks), vulnerabilities (database or a web server), threats (accidental or malicious) and controls of the organization.
IT service security providers carry out information security risk analysis in tandem with the internal IT department of the company. Once the information security is assessed, it helps companies in understanding and staying alert for security risks and threats (internal and external). Hiring a competent information security service provider is more cost effective and results in better cyber security and data safety.
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