What’s the Best Defense Against Cyberattacks? You Are

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Last year, cybersecurity experts Paul Ferrillo and Chris Veltsos joined me to record a nine-part podcast series complementing their book release, “Take Back Control of Your Cybersecurity Now.” Paul and Chris are back for a monthly check-in to talk about current topics in security.

New data released in May 2018 points to an evolving threat landscape — cryptojacking is on the rise, zero-day attacks are diversifying and ransomware remains a critical issue for companies. In their latest podcast, Paul and Chris reiterate the need for superior cyber hygiene and offer up a surprising solution for the best defense against cyberattacks: the organization’s entire workforce. And yes, that includes you.

You’ll want to listen to the entire episode to catch all their pearls of wisdom, but here are three key takeaways:

  • A lack of knowledge: Paul makes it clear that the culprit behind many recent massive breaches is companies’ lack of knowledge about how much data they store and where they store it. Spear phishing campaigns continue to crack network defenses by leveraging “digital exhaust,” or personal information about employees that’s available on social media sites and public databases.
  • A serious shortage: Chris points to the problem of limited time, resources and budgets. He also argues for conducting an effective risk assessment to discover what’s important and in what order enterprises need to tackle security threats. Even more important is a cultural shift — integrating information security into the overall corporate culture means engaging staff with strategies like gamification and positive rewards.
  • A clean defense: The duo emphasizes that basic cyber hygiene — “brush, floss, repeat” — forms the core of improved of any successful infosec strategy. Paul takes the concept a step further, positing that the best defense against cyberattacks is everyone in the organization. From C-suite to front-line staff, we all live in a world dominated by attacks designed to “hack” humans — and these same humans become the first and most important line of defense.

To stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity content, subscribe to the Security Intelligence podcast and listen to all the episodes in the ongoing series, “Deciphering Today’s Cyber Headlines with Mitch Mayne, Paul Ferrillo and Chris Veltsos.”