Several years ago, password security was not as tight as it is now. It was common for individual’s to choose their birthdays, names of their spouses or partners, and single complete words as their password for extremely sensitive data, including their employee log ins, personal computers, and even bank accounts. However, an upsurge in information security breaches, through hackers either guessing the password or using hacking software to help them gain entry, resulted in an increase of password protection awareness. This led to people being advised to include a combination of random letters and symbols, and a combination of both lower and upper-case letters, as their password. Doing so makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your personal and business data.
This shift to tighter information security has not just been for passwords. Increased awareness about protecting the asset of information has seen business’ implement a multitude of information security strategies over the past few years, to ensure that they maintain the privacy of their data, keep their staff, client and customer details safe, and uphold their reputation as a safe business to conduct dealings with.
An ISMS is your business’ protection against malicious email and socially engineered messages
Hackers can be smart, and they are constantly devising new strategies to gain unauthorised access to your business’ information. As such, it is important for organisations to remain one step ahead of them, by implementing strong information security controls, that can circumvent their efforts to gain unauthorised access to your data.
For example, hackers often attempt to gain access to private information through sending spam and malware to business’, under the guise of a legitimate business email. Sometimes simply opening these emails can activate a software breach, and your organisation will have to spend time and effort attempting to mitigate the threat, while also ensuring that it does not reoccur.
By implementing an Information Security Management System business’ are able to safeguard themselves against potential cyber risks, in the form of threats such as email spam, malware, and phishing. The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001:2013 Information Technology Security Management Systems standard provides business’ with internationally certified, proven to be effective, information security strategies for ensuring that your organisation remains one step ahead of potential cyber threats.
It addresses the issue by getting your organisation to perform a gap analysis of their existing information security system, and then compare it with a projection of your desired information security system. Once your organisation has clearly outlined where its information security system is at now, and the standard that it needs to get to, the standard provides business’ with clear, logical guidance for reaching that point.
Specifically, potential information security threats, such as spam, are safeguarded in these standards, by:
- Doing a systematic audit of all the possible cyber-threats the business could face, and devising clear strategies on how to handle them. This approach identifies potential risks before they even become a real threat, and outlines a clear strategy for how to address potential issues, such as email spam, which seeks to gain unauthorised access to work systems. For example, a possible solution these standards could offer is advising staff that when they receive email attachments from unknown sources, to perform a virus scan on them before opening them, or even convert them to another format, such as converting a word document to a PDF. Doing so significantly minimises the information security risks associated with opening attachments from unknown sources, as they are scanned and filtered through another source before opening.
- Designing an overarching, unified, management system, which is implemented across the whole organisation. This system sees the whole business working towards a unified information security goal, and as a result, all staff are sufficiently briefed on how to identify potential information security threats such as spam and phishing scams, trained not to open them, and how to report them to the relevant department, for further investigation.
- Designing a set of strong information security protocols, which are implemented across all business sites. These processes would see staff clearly briefed on how to spot malware scams, what to do if they suspect a potential breach, who to report it to, and so on. By outlining a clear chain-of-command that all staff are briefed on in the event of a potential information security breach, the chances of possible threats impacting operations are mitigated.
While it would be great to be able to discuss every possible scam or trick hackers can come up with to gain unauthorised access to your systems, doing so is not possible because they are constantly altering their approach. That is, once they notice that one method they are trying has a low success rate for them, they will either try something else or come up with an entirely new approach in the attempt of getting access to your business’ data.
That is why the implementation of the ISO 27001 standards is worthwhile for business’, as they provide organisations with a multitude of strategies that they can implement to stay one step ahead of the potential security threats.
A hacker’s best friend is ignorance so gain knowledge through these standards
There are many ways a hacker can gain access to your business’ information, but most of their strategies can be effectively countered through knowledge. Having the knowledge of how to identify suspect emails, what to do if you receive one, and how to safeguard your business’ data at all times is the best defence against cyber-threats.
Implementing these standards gives your organisation the best chance of protecting its data, maintaining its good working relationship with customers and clients, and upholding its reputation. If you would like to find out how these standards could be best tailored to the specific requirements of your business, then please give Anitech information security consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By discussing the particular information security concerns that you have for your business, they will be able to discuss with you how the standards could be effectively implemented to safeguard your business’ information. Would you agree that this kind of information is worth learning about?
Please click here to find out how strong business information security protects a business’ valuable assets.
Read Also: What is an ISMS?