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Businesses must overcome communication roadblocks in cybersecurity

May 2024 by Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Office at ALSO Cloud UK

Cybersecurity is a constant task, but elevating communication can help businesses fortify their security posture.
It’s virtually impossible to imagine a sector where technology hasn’t led to improvements in productivity and profits but with this comes the rise of cyberattacks. Although not a new phenomenon, their frequency and sophistication continue to increase.

“A cyberattack has the potential to impact every aspect of the organisation and make customers question their services and control they have over their security,” said Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer at ALSO.
“The latest Cyber Security Breaches Survey revealed a staggering 78% of businesses lacked a formal incident response plan, so it’s not surprising to see that over half of UK businesses experience a breach once a month. It’s this under preparedness that puts customers, employees, and stakeholders all at risk.”
However, maintaining effective cybersecurity is not simply an IT concern - it is also a communication concern as well. Employees and IT leaders must be able to align business goals with cybersecurity strategy which all starts with addressing communication challenges.
“As a key aspect of every other business function, communication is just as vital to cybersecurity. An inefficient communication system can cause delays and miscommunication, resulting in greater data and financial loss. Businesses must be able to bridge the gap between cybersecurity and communication to better prepare themselves in the event of an attack.”
To heal these issues, it’s important to form a culture of clarity across the organisation regarding steps taken, and embed these communication guidelines into risk management plans.
“With the trust of stakeholders and customers on the line, risk management and crisis plans are necessary to lay out protocol in the event of a data breach. However, being able to communicate through these reaction plans with consistency relies on a strong internal rapport.
“The quality of communication in these incidents will heavily influence the outcome of the attack and whether businesses are able to minimise the long-term effects. If IT leaders can seamlessly integrate cyber communication into risk management, it fosters a culture of shared responsibility where everyone understands their role in mitigating risks and protecting the businesses assets.
“These response plans should outline clear procedures for responding to cyber incidents with defined roles for key stakeholders, IT teams, and senior management. This ensures there is no uncertainty regarding guidelines for responding and communicating in a cyberattack crisis which is paramount for mitigating the overall impact of cyber risks.”
Mark goes on to describe how selecting the appropriate partners to recognise the characteristics of a robust security profile and identify any potential risks is paramount to business security.
“Many IT leaders believe that if they spend enough money on their technology resources, their business will be secure. While this certainly helps to mitigate risks, poor communication, and lack of cohesion between team members can prove to be a significant barrier. Without the right systems in place to use these resources and manage the process of communicating through acyberattack, this investment is fruitless.
“Suppliers and vendors possess substantial knowledge and resources to safeguard business data and can act as vigilant observers and facilitators in this process. Vendors can oversee critical aspects, detect potential issues with cybersecurity, and promptly report to the appropriate teams.”
If the reporting process is swift, the types of attacks are more likely to get resolved at a faster pace.
“Through regular updates on system health and any potential vulnerabilities recognised, vendors can provide immediate notice on the nature of the incident, actions taken, and recommend further steps for IT leaders to secure their network. As such, responses are prompt and coordinated action. Working as a unit allows for agility and adaptability to these situations leading to faster resolutions.”
Mark concluded, “Without proactive measures, cybersecurity’s communication problem will only worsen. By strengthening your business communication and normalising threat mitigation as a process which everyone can put their hand in, risks can be efficiently managed.
“By prioritising security throughout the vendor processes, organisations can establish resilient cyber solutions to protect their data from malicious actors.”

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