Cybersecurity has evolved into a fundamental cornerstone on which numerous aspects of business rely. Whether operating a large enterprise or a small business, prioritizing network security is imperative due to the enduring consequences of cyberattacks.
The landscape of cyberthreats is dynamic, marked by a significant increase in both frequency and sophistication. In 2022, IoT malware attacks saw a staggering 87% increase. The integration of artificial intelligence has vastly contributed to attack scale, volume and sophistication, emphasizing the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures.
It’s essential to shift from a reactive to a proactive cybersecurity approach. One such approach that has gained prominence is “Secure by Design” practices.
International partners have taken steps to address commonly exploited vulnerabilities. A recent advisory highlights Secure by Design principles. This collaborative effort underscores the global nature of the cybersecurity threat landscape as well as the need for coordinated action to protect critical infrastructure.
Today’s Modern Cyberthreats
Cybersecurity threats have evolved significantly over the years. Gone are the days when installing an antivirus could protect your computer. Today, cybercriminals use highly sophisticated tactics and the potential impact of an attack goes far beyond the inconvenience of a virus.
Modern cyberthreats encompass a wide range of attacks, including:
Malware that encrypts your data and demands a ransom for decryption. One of the costliest attacks for businesses.
Deceptive emails or messages that trick you into revealing sensitive information. 83% of companies experience a phishing attack each year.
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
Long-term cyberattacks aimed at stealing sensitive data.
- Zero Day Attacks
Attacks that target vulnerabilities not yet known to software developers.
- IoT Vulnerabilities
Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to compromise networks.
These evolving threats underscore the need for a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Instead of reacting to attacks after they occur, you want to prevent them from happening.
What is Secure by Design?
Secure by Design is a modern cybersecurity approach. It integrates security measures into the very foundation of a system, app, or device. It does this from the start. It’s about considering security as a fundamental aspect of the development process rather than including it as a feature later.
How can businesses translate this into their cybersecurity strategies?
There are two key ways:
- When purchasing hardware or software, ask about Secure by Design. Does the supplier use these practices? If not, you may want to consider a different vendor.
- Incorporate Secure by Design principles into your own business. You can do this when planning an infrastructure upgrade or customer service enhancement. Put cybersecurity at the center instead of adding it as an afterthought.
Key principles of Secure by Design:
- Risk Assessment
Identifying potential security risks and vulnerabilities early in the design phase.
- Standard Framework
Maintain consistency when applying security standards by following a framework. Such as CIS Critical Security Controls, HIPAA, or GDPR.
- Least Privilege
Limiting access to resources to only those who need it for their roles.
- Defense in Depth
Implementing many layers of security to protect against various threats.
- Regular Updates
Ensuring that security measures are continuously updated to address new threats.
- User Education
Educating users about security best practices and potential risks.
Why Secure-by-Design Matters
Understanding and implementing Secure by Design practices is crucial for several reasons:
Traditional cybersecurity approaches are often reactive. This means they address security issues after they’ve occurred. Secure by Design builds security measures into the very foundation of a system. This minimizes vulnerabilities from the start.
Addressing security issues after a system is in place can be costly. The same is true for trying to address them near the end of a project. By integrating security from the beginning, you can avoid these extra expenses.
Many industries are subject to strict regulatory requirements for data protection and cybersecurity. Secure by Design practices can help you meet these compliance standards more effectively. It reduces the risk of unknowns that end up costing you in fines and penalties.
A security breach can severely damage your organization’s reputation. Implementing Secure by Design practices demonstrates your commitment to protecting user data. It can also enhance trust among customers and stakeholders.
Cyberthreats continue to evolve. Secure by Design practices help ensure that your systems and applications remain resilient. Especially against emerging threats.
Minimizing Attack Surfaces
Secure by Design focuses on reducing the attack surface of your systems. Using it helps in identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities. You mitigate threats before a hacker exploits them.