Information technology, IT, has become an integral part of our daily lives. For companies this is both bad and good news for risk management.
IT solutions are now readily available, easy to use and provide businesses with services we could not have dreamed of having a few decades ago. However, this unprecedented access to the digital world has also created a new set of challenges when it comes to risk management and measurements. If you are concerned about cyber security in 2016 here’s an overview of where we stand so far.
Vulnerability Factors Are on the Rise
IT solutions were a fantastic way to bring people together, streamline workflows and provide access to information. This is still what we expect from the digital world. However, this fervent quest for accessibility has paved the way for unsecure online payments, fraud, cyber-attacks, data loss and the list goes on.
There’s no way around it. As the Internet of Things is becoming a reality, more and more people gain access to information that was previously gated. Companies are now at risk not just from external attacks. Their own employees could become liabilities without proper security protocols in place. In 2014, the biggest security risks companies faced were posed by disgruntled employees, uninformed employees, and mobile devices.
The number of mobile devices with internet access is on the rise and they are becomingly easier to purchase. As for employees, while companies have started taking steps towards educating them about IT security, there’s still a long way to go. You should also look to your company’s social network accounts as a possible weak points.
Data Is More Important Than Ever
As IT security risks grew in number and complexity, security measures needed to be refined. With the use of Big Data, security experts could inform companies about possible vulnerable spots and allow them to formulate a solution.
Data is now more important than ever since these threats now come from multiple directions through a variety of channels. Only through proper data aggregation can companies hope to mitigate risks, more importantly perhaps, prepare for the future. It takes out the guesswork from trying to devise security strategies and protocols.
As the digital world expands and develops, so the range of possible risks is going to change. Which means solutions should be dynamic as well. Safety protocols must be designed in such way as to grow and adapt. Without the proper framework in place, this would be impossible. This is the main reason why applying big data to risk management is now more important than ever.
It’s Easier to Handle and Analyze Information
While it may seem like the future of IT risk management and measurement is bleak, there have been some significant developments in the past years. Previously, aggregating large amounts of data was difficult, to say the least. Analyzing it was even harder, as the volume of information was immense.
Cloud technology has changed all of that, and it’s continuing to improve the field. Collecting information is easier and much more efficient. It’s even become easier to make sense of it and deliver results. There’s still some work left to be done when it comes to data quality, however. It’s still difficult for programs to sift through information and pick out which is genuinely relevant and which is not. However, in time, this issue will likely be resolved. At any rate, working with big data has never been easier and improvements are coming out a lighting fast pace.
Predictive Risk Management
In previous years, acquiring data was not the only issue businesses had to deal with. One of the biggest challenges security companies faced was formulating appropriate strategies and responses. Data was used to report on existing threats and vulnerabilities, and it was up to the security experts to figure out solutions.
IT security systems have now evolved to the point in which they’re not only able to offer a more accurate description of the risks threatening a company. They are also capable of predicting future risks and formulating possible strategies. This is an enormous step forward that will greatly increase efficiency when it comes to responding to threats.
IT security experts can now focus on refining strategies and coming up with creative solutions, while security management software does the bulk of the more tedious work. It also allows security companies to stay ahead of potential hackers and the increasing number of vulnerabilities inherent in the Internet of Things.
Machine Learning Is Changing the Field
At the heart of all these recent developments is one game-changing innovation: machine learning. Intelligent AIs seemed to be just a pipe dream only a few years back. Now, they are already providing solutions to common problems and allowing us to make the most out of all the information we have at our disposal. With machine learning, security software and cloud solutions are going to become better and better at analyzing data and formulating strategies. Machine learning will soon have a major positive impact on our lives.
Even though there is still a long way to go, it has the potential to become incredibly accurate in its predictions and ability to sift through and analyze data. In order to do that it needs a large volume of data, so it can “learn”. This means that no matter which way you look at it, this development is going to need time to reach its full potential.
The silver lining in all of this is that the requirements of modern IT security solutions, namely large amounts of data, and the needs of machine learning are the same. The two can easily grow together. This will allow for better integration of risk management and risk measurement solutions in the near future.
Cyber security has become a pressing concern, and it’s going to remain one. Protecting information is much different than protecting physical assets. It’s very unlikely we’ll ever find a data protection solution that will solve the issue once and for all. Security companies have come to realize that and are working towards finding dynamic solutions that are able to scale, learn and adapt to threats as they arise.
Natalie Frey is a professional writer, currently in charge of the online marketing division at Total Processing. With a background in eCommerce, she now specializes in finding the best data security strategies.