Is “military-grade” cyber-security required to combat data breaches?
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Is “military-grade” cyber-security required to combat data breaches?

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Data breaches are at an ‘all-time high’. In this modern world where most things are done electronically and are connected to the internet, without sufficient cyber-security, our data is exposed to cybercriminals who can steal our money, spread our personal information around, and wreak havoc with our identities.

Whilst many encourage development of new applications and innovative software to help us share information at a click of a button, and pay our bills with a swipe of a finger, cyber-security is falling behind.

With the growing trend of breaches, what can we do to fully protect ourselves? Do we all need “military-grade” protection like our armed forced and government intelligence agencies do?

Imagine this: we’re constantly upgrading our home with cool and new features, but the locks remain the same. Companies who build these homes are focusing on creating luxurious bathrooms and elegant kitchens to entice buyers; the locks on doors and windows aren’t a priority when choosing between stain resistant carpets and real hard wood flooring. Burglars have long since learnt how to pick locks, but we’re still not always adding a bolt or an alarm system there.

Cyber-security is no different in this respect.

Cyber-crime is now the second highest reported economic crime, according to PwC. Businesses and organisation are prioritising efficiency and profits without always investing resources in ensuring their cyber-security can effectively keep up. For those who do have proper cyber-security measures in place, cyber-criminals are learning and adapting just as quickly; developing their skills to worm their way through even the tightest of cyber-security defences.

So, what do we do?

Do we all need “military-grade” encryption?

Military and intelligence agencies are aware of the challenges we face. Given the nature of their roles, they do not neglect cyber-security – its a top priority for them.

Many of these agencies use Secure KM (Keyboard/Mouse) switches, and there is an argument that banks and other entities with sensitive information would do well to follow suit. The question, of course, is whether it’s necessary or not, and do the costs outweigh the benefits? Is a bank using Secure KM seen as “overkill”?

What are the guidelines?

Financial institutions are a huge target for cyber-criminals. With their huge amounts of money being their obvious valuable asset, banks are often battling hackers and stopping them from getting in.

If a hacker was to gain access and drain accounts, it may not only be devastating for the bank account holders and the bank’s reputation, but it could also damage the greater economy. In recognition of this, some authorities have produced guidelines for entities to use when it comes to the “standard” for cyber-security.

Guidelines include things like:

Identifying and assessing internal and external cyber vulnerabilities.
Deploying a “defensive infrastructure”.
Utilising technologies that best fit with the business.
Implementing policies and procedures to protect databases and systems.
Having the ability to quickly detect cyber threats and breaches.
Deploying business continuity policies and technologies to respond and recover from cyber-attacks.
Fulfilling regulatory reporting requirements in the event of a breach.

At the end of the day, a military-grade security system can provide for proper and enhanced security against cyber-attacks. If firms value their assets, reputation and their customers’ confidence, they should prioritise cyber-security in the way the intelligence agencies and the military does. As such, many agree that the use of “military-grade” defences isn’t overkill at all in today’s continually developing digital age. If anything, it’s the standard to attain.

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