Many -- and I do mean MANY -- companies are playing chess every day and don’t even realize it.
They’re not playing a fun game where win-or-lose, nothing happens. They are playing a game where the stakes are high and the cost to win may not be quantifiable. You are probably thinking, “What is she talking about…?” Well, I’m talking about cybersecurity.
When your opponent gets in your network, they take over. They watch your every move and every time you see a glimpse of their moves, they change their plans and adjust their tactics. Just like a chess match, they are watching you and adjusting their strategy based on your reactions to their moves.
Here’s where things start to change: they are not necessarily looking for checkmate; in fact oftentimes, they are actively avoiding it. They want to ensure the game continues, so they can keep moving around silently and evade detection so valuable information like intellectual property and customer information can continue to be absconded.
This is where the cost comes in: The majority of threat actors are looking to steal from you, which obviously costs you money. But protecting yourself against them also costs money. There is no way around this, cybersecurity is an expensive proposition and simply has to be worked into the budget. So, you’re thinking if it’s expensive it must be an easy fix, right? I pay to protect myself and they go away. Well, remember that this is a game and they are watching for your reaction. When they suspect you are on to them, they may adjust their strategy, go quiet and hibernate for weeks or months before they start back up again using different tactics to avoid detection. So, how do you reach checkmate? Well, the simple answer is you can’t, this is a never-ending battle and cybersecurity is here to stay. But, you can keep them in check.
This is how you do that: First, hire knowledgeable and skilled employees and provide them with up-to-date training regularly. Then, get the right products to protect your network, keep them up-to-date and monitor them daily. You may have noticed that the employees came first; while products are important, if you have an underqualified or undertrained staff they quickly lose their value. In the end, it is the job of advanced cybersecurity products to support trained security professionals and provide them with the tools and network visibility they need to do their job successfully. A successful cybersecurity program can never be a set it and forget it solution. Fulfilling the need for the right employees and the right products will allow you to be competitive and keep you cyber chess opponents in check.