Criminals thrive on opportunity. They look for weaknesses in systems or processes, then exploit them. When they find a scheme that works, they often deploy it against numerous companies.
Cyber-attacks that follow this pattern appear regularly. Often, threat actors systematically target a specific industry or type of business, wreaking havoc across a single sector. Recent ransomware incidents in the healthcare industry such as Conti and Avaddon offer a prime example.
One way to protect your business is by updating your playbook with a community approach to cyber security.
Expand cyber security beyond your company walls
Many businesses have strong internal programs to monitor, detect, and prevent cyber threats. These typically include protocols for company systems, employees, and processes. Communication is also critical. The information security or IT team develops ways to assess risk and share necessary information with company leaders and frontline employees.
Taking cyber security beyond your company walls can arm your business with an additional layer of protection. It may seem counter-intuitive but collaborating with others in your industry or geographic market (and even your competitors) can provide a number of benefits.
These advantages include:
• Obtaining vital early awareness on new and emerging cyber threats
• Learning best practices and techniques to improve security
• Keeping up with new and pending legislation
Invite public and private sector participants
Building your community means developing relationships with cyber security professionals outside your company. At first, it may seem strange to work toward a common goal with leaders from other companies. But the more you can find areas of cooperation, the greater the benefit to all involved.
Transparent conversations about what you are seeing or experiencing are key. It also helps to realize that every company will have its own approach to cyber security, and its own tolerance for risk. More sophisticated organizations will likely be more active in monitoring and detecting potential threats, as well as educating others on tactics and best practices.
An effective industry-wide coalition typically includes:
• Private sector businesses of all sizes
• Trade associations
• Legislative and governing bodies at state and national levels
• Critical vendors and supply chain resources
Your business still needs an internal cyber security program. However, working together with industry peers helps increase vigilance and resilience for all involved. Industry-wide communication can provide significant muscle to deter threat actors, reduce the impact of cyber-attacks, and decrease risk.
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