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Challenges Faced By Every CISO Today

Posted by: MK CS Team
Category: Cyber Security
CISO Challenges

A recent study reveals that COVID has ushered traditional businesses towards tech adoption. The global pandemic rendered all traditional workplaces useless and established work from home as an acceptable norm. With the increasing penetration of remote working culture, organizations are going to be hell lot dependent upon cloud stage, SaaS products, and third-party video conferencing applications.

World Health Organization recently reported that cyber-attacks are going to increase by five folds. The report briefly mentioned COVID as the cause of the sudden spike. Earlier Fintech and E-commerce were the only mainstream businesses that had direct involvement of cards and personal data but with traditional businesses going online, hackers have identified new venues.

The challenges are great, so are the opportunities; it is about time traditional businesses adopt invest in compliances, IT infrastructure, and in acquiring requisite protection against all kinds of old and new threats. Enterprises can easily overcome ransomware attacks and server errors but to fight modern-day threats like credential stuffing and DDoS attacks, they need to rely on industry experts.

The adoption curve can make or break a business; if CISOs fail to tackle all prevalent challenges in an inundate manner.

Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges Every CISO is facing

Risk Management

CISOs are fighting multiple battles on different fronts. First increasing cases of a data breach has already got them worried, then they are required to optimize safety paradigms so it doesn’t interfere with a quality customer experience. Apart from all the tech parts, CISOs today are also worried about the impact of natural disasters on data management. With servers under tangible threats that occur due to disasters like floods, earthquakes, or pandemics, CISOs have to pay an important role in business continuity planning. 

According to Fortnite, 13% of CISOs see risk management as a prevalent challenge and are worried that someday it will wreck their IT infrastructure. A robust BCP that covers natural disasters is perhaps the only tool to handle such challenges. By creating a BCP with varied departments contributing effectively and then testing it rigorously can help stakeholders build a plan that will save the day.

Data Loss and Privacy 

Well! When we say Data Loss, we cover all kinds of paradigms through which it can occur. Be its data breach, ransomware attack, server failure, or backup failure, all of them are equally harmful to the growing businesses. 90% of small enterprises go out of business after just one data breach, which explains how monumental data loss is as a challenge.

CISOs need to spend their time on creating an infrastructure that is built to protect user’s data against all kinds of threats like breaches, hacks, misconfiguration, or ransomware attacks.

To build a system that remains unaffected by the attempts of hackers, CISOs will need to start with compliances. Fulfilling compliances like PCI DSS, GDPR, CCPA, and ISO prepare organizations to handle all kinds of threats. PCI alone is such detailed compliance and involves everything from router updates to restricted access to the server rooms. The 12 requirements of PCI DSS Certification covers a lot of intricate details that spoil all attempts of a data breach. 

Lack of Strategy

All these compliances are only good in protecting users and organizations from threats that are already identified. To fight the threats of the future, there are no tools. It’s more like COVID-19, where the best we can do is adopt social distancing. By fulfilling compliances and adapting to the latest protective measures, CISOs can only minimize the impact of the breach and save enterprises from losing market equity.

33% of CISOs have agreed that Lack of Strategy is the biggest challenge they are faced with in contemporary times. The primary reason why CISOs are at a loss of strategy because the speed of hackers has outpaced the defenders. 

Managed security service providers that rely on a set of connected security operation center is perhaps one of the best options available. These security operation centers aka SOCs work round the clock and monitor all kinds of threats. 

Here are some of the underrated benefits of SOCs

  • Identifies and reports compliance failure before it gets exploited by hackers
  • Since they are connected to other centers, they can take preventive measures 
  • Minimizes the chance of spotting a data breach or a DDoS attack

Political Influence

Varied reports suggest that if America, Europe, India, and Japan decides to go behind China for the COVID pandemic and impose economic sanctions then China will launch a series of cyber-attack. In early news, it was revealed that China tried to buy shares of big companies in India and the US through the stock market when the market started falling due to the COVID outbreak.

Similarly, every election be it in the US or India, companies are going to be under the immense pressure of protecting cardholders’ data and offering uninterrupted services. CISOs are planning to protect data from being compromised by putting main servers in the country of origin and not rely on offshoring options. Keeping servers in the country of origin will add up to the cost but will save organizations from paying heavy compliance failure fines and data breach compensations. 

Third-Party Integration

With customer experience becoming a key differentiator, enterprises are spreading their wings and collaborating with multiple vendors to ensure a quality experience. Such third-party integrations come with a set of pre-defined challenges, which need to be addressed effectively and at the earliest. 

If your third-party collaborators violate compliances or go under a breach, your brand reputation is likely to suffer heavily. One of the best ways of avoiding all such hassles that occur due to third-party collaborators is to run a background check for:

  • Past mishaps
  • Furnishing compliances like ISO, GDPR, and PCI
  • Core management team
  • IT infrastructure (both hardware and software)

Top-Notch Security under a Budget 

In a survey by Fortinet, 13% CISOs agreed that offering top-notch security with a limited budget is one of their biggest challenges. Compliances like PCI and ISO are costly; quality virus software packages are expensive and even managed security services come with a hefty monthly fee.

While organizations look only at the monthly invoices they are paying in full, they are overlooking the peace of mind, quality customer experience, and brand reputation these bills are fueling. Lack of proper cybersecurity infrastructure will lead to businesses crumbling under pressure from hackers, compliance agencies, and customers.

With the average cost of data breach touching a $4 million mark, organizations cannot afford to compromise on the quality of software and hardware they employ to store and protect user’s data.

Final Thoughts

2010-15 was ruled by ransomware attacks before that phishing was a prevalent challenge and in the coming five years, credential stuffing and DDoS attacks are going to be reasons of headache for CISOs. 

The challenges and their impact remains the same, it is just that they are taking different shapes. From phishing to credential stuffing, all these are just about stealing customer’s data. By preparing for data protection, CISOs can protect their organizations against all kinds of existing and emerging threats. 

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