The tech industry has just marked the 20th annual U.S. Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This event was initially launched by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, who came together to ensure organisations and consumers are ready to take on the cybersecurity landscape.
How successful have the last twenty years been and what is on the future horizon? Looking forwards for Digital Journal is Rehan Jalil, President and CEO at Securiti.
Looking at the themes surrounding 2023’s events, Jalil observes: “This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month focuses on the idea that ‘it’s easy to stay safe online,’ reminding individuals that there are different methods to protect personal data from cyber threats across digital environments.”
How should businesses be translating these aims into practice? Jalil states: “ Reinforcing your organization’s cybersecurity foundation for corporate data has never been more crucial, yet many continue to find themselves with increasing silos that can disrupt the way sensitive data is handled.”
An added complexity comes through the technology wave and past-pace of changes. Jalil conceptualises this as: “Amidst the implementation of new technology – like generative AI – the escalating frequency of cyber breaches, the increasing complexities of multi-cloud environments, and the constantly evolving data privacy regulations, an advanced data security solution is critical to protecting the “crown jewels” – sensitive and personal data.”
In terms of advice for companies, Jalil puts forwards: “Establishing an optimal security posture goes beyond firewalls, anti-malware and infrastructure protection – it must also have a data-centric lens. This requires a deep understanding of the entire data environment, data flow patterns, access governance policies, and configuration vulnerabilities.”
There will no doubt be challenges along the way, which Jalil sees as: “Traditional discovery and classification tools are grappling to keep up with the explosive growth of data in the cloud, resulting in inconsistent data classification outcomes across architectures and teams.”
To support this, Jalil recommends: “A holistic data security solution, with DSPM functionality, offers a strategic and efficient solution to address these concerns minimizing potential risks. It encompasses comprehensive discovery of data assets, including shadow and dark data assets, efficient identification and classification of sensitive data through machine learning and natural language processing, resolution of misconfigured data assets, and the provision of insights for secure data access policies.”
All such changes need to be seen as cyclical and part of a culture of continued improvement. Jalil states: “As we are reminded of the critical need for data security, it is essential to re-evaluate the security, compliance, governance, and privacy of sensitive data in tandem. By implementing a solution capable of comprehensive discovery of data assets, organizations can establish a resilient defence against escalating data threats in our increasingly digital age.”