One of the most common issues is passwords. Although tools such as Password Managers, Two-Factor Authentication and Password Generators all exist to try and maximise the security and integrity of your accounts, devices or information, people just don’t take enough notice.
Don’t believe that’s still the case? According to welivesecurity.com, the most common Passwords are still 123456 and password. Whether it is through laziness or simply not knowing, people and companies are leaving themselves vulnerable and unprotected in the event of a cyber attack or hack attempt.
The solution to ensuring a good company culture is maintained in regards to cyber security is surprisingly simple. It’s just a case of good practise being adhered to at home and then transporting these measures and approaches to work.
Put more simply, imagine you are going to work in the morning. You are going to close your windows, lock your doors and ensure all belongings are kept completely out of site. These are the basic principles of home security: why are companies not taking the same approach to cyber security?
Some companies, including Slough-based LEGO have changed their approach to cyber security and have seen massive benefits as a result. They’ve even begun to help educate other people on the benefits and major London corporations are buying into this mentality. The City of London Police are one of the organisations that have bought into this new method.
Using a low-tech board-game made from the iconic Danish toy, company individuals are placed in charge of a power plant and have to choose to spend their security budget on a variety of options, marked on coloured playing cards. After each decision, a cyber security expert is on hand to help judge whether the decision is good or bad. Thoughtful choices lead to stronger infrastructure and greater security, whereas poor choices lead to fines, hacks, digital attacks and even bankruptcy.
It’s designed to teach companies the importance of making informed cyber security choices, and it seems to be working. Even the threat of virtual of £5,000 fines due to the WannaCry virus in the game is enough to make board members change their view.
But, if you are still unsure of your cyber security requirements, or you want to find the perfect role for your cyber security aspirations in the Berkshire, Reading and Buckinghamshire, then Via Resource would love to hear from you.
We are a professional, knowledgeable cyber security recruitment agency based in the heart of the Thames Valley and we work 24/7 to ensure you get the best possible solution for your cyber security situation. Contact us today.
With the end of 2018 rapidly approaching, thoughts are now turning towards exactly what the future holds for Cyber Security. It has been a year of upheaval, as companies increasingly prioritise Digital Transformation projects, thereby requiring a more secure Digital presence. With this in mind, we’ve pin-pointed five new trends that look set to become important in the world of Cyber Security in 2019.
It is estimated that the use of passwords and tokens to identify a user will drop, by up to 55% in medium-risk use cases by 2019. This is due to the increasing range of biometrics available to help establish a user’s identity, including fingerprinting, retina scanning and voice recognition. Passwords will not completely disappear, but the focus will shift to products that promote an environment of continuous trust and good user experience.
2) Internet of Things
A significant proportion of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) will suffer in 2019, due to poor authentication measures. As a result, they will be unable to address both old and new threats. Organisations will have to establish and carry out measures to identify authentication risks, identity assurance, and benchmark metrics to help develop these measures further.
3) Cloud Access Security Brokers
As more firms go digital, increasing quantities of data are being stored inside Cloud-based software. Organisations are still skeptical about cloud migration and must be prepared to weigh up the pros and cons of cloud-based access security brokers (CASBs). Increasingly, these packages will be homogenous, including a network firewall, secure web gateway (SWG) and web application firewall (WAF), amongst their platforms.
WannaCry and NotPetya breaches have already tarnished the reputations of major international organisations in the last year. Due to accelerated distribution methods and attack vectors, ransomware is now predicted to attack a business every fourteen seconds by 2019. Additionally, ransomware is moving from attacking general IT systems, to specifically focusing on attacking IoT technologies and point of sale (POS) facilities.
5) GDPR and Third-Party Risks
GDPR has already changed the landscape of cyber security in the last six months and both services and suppliers are now looking outwardly towards the business as an extended enterprise. Third parties are now liable for GDPR directives for data processes and firms must make sure they are aware of the potential ramifications.
WHAT'S YOUR GENERAL PHILOSOPHY WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING A TEAM?
So, for me, building security teams is probably one of the single biggest things that will apply to anyone's security strategy, and for me, it's really personal because as security leader, I'm personally judged on my team's efforts and abilities, and performance, but also for me, I feel it's my responsibility to ensure that we're fostering and nurturing the right levels of talent, and individuals that can help then grow across security in their chosen career paths. It's difficult, it's not easy, my kind of my secret source, if you will, is kind of comic books, and the importance of using the superhero kind of context about building these teams and bringing them together. There's a sort of concept around a cyber skills shortage in industry at the moment, whilst might play a part because there are far more vacancies than there ever have been than there are candidates, but actually finding the right people is where the challenge is, and I think it's less a skills shortage and more attitude shortage - attitude gap - because the way we've traditionally hired roles before is not right for the security industry now. And for me, kind of using my sort of insight and interest in comic books and superheroes has really helped me sort of bring that team together.
HOW IS IT THAT COMIC BOOKS HELP YOU WITH RECRUITING?
So I've grown up with superheroes. I've been very fortunate with that experience - I know I only look 28! - but remember comic books when they were just in print, now we've got movies and franchises that have spawned millions across the globe. So you've got like The Avengers with Iron Man, Hulk, Thor. You've got the Justice League with Batman, the Flash and then you've got other sort of separate standalone superheroes as well, or groups like Fantastic Four. When you look at those groups of those superheroes, nobody looks the same do they? Everyone's got their own little talent, everyone's got their own little skill, their own nuances. I mean, of course, everyone wants a Hulk on their security team right? But actually having a Black Widow and a Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel are all vitally as important and I think people miss that because whether it be in recruitment bias, or just thinking actually ‘To do more of what I want to do, I need more of me.’ But if you look around your security team and everyone looks like you; in my case: male, 28 and kind of why, then I'm not getting the best of what society has to offer. So for me I really draw on those comic-book superheroes and try and build my superhero team because ultimately that's what security is about right? It's about protecting the organisation, it's about going over and above to save the day in some cases, to bring those people together. There's a quote from one of the sort of Marvel franchises that SHIELD - the kind of thick sort of character group there- that talked about bringing people together in a time of need or crisis, that can do things that no other people can do and for me that's how a security team should be. Not necessarily just at times of crisis though, but actually bringing together all those different skills and looking for them at the interview process, through the selection processes, to see what makes people tick and almost putting aside the post-nominals that you get in CV’s or the extensive experience that everyone's had and actually, kind of, put that to one side for a second and look at the individual, look at that how they operate, their belief system, their culture, what they believe in, what was important to them and from my point of view then, what behaviours that they can demonstrate.
Yeah, I guess the idea is that an Iron Man will… Take the Avengers; Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and they're all very different. Now I'm not saying we're going out looking for an Iron Man, a Hulk, a Thor, although it would be quite good to go and try and recruit one of those directly, but if I look at my own security team that we built over a relatively short period of time here at Pinsent Masons; my person who leads on our security engagement is very different to the person who leads on our technical security, and again, very different to the person who leads on our supply chain risk, and we feel that we've brought in the behaviours that have actually kind of embodied that superhero for the greater good. We're all here to protect the firm and our clients, and actually capitalising on that, we’ve got passion across the team which is fantastic. You can't buy that, you can’t teach it, but we’re really inspired people. So for me, it's not so much a leadership role that's kind of done that, it's more the concept, the philosophy, or the vision that we have as a security team that we're here to save the world, as far as Pinsent Masons is concerned right, but actually we're doing the best we can in that field.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE JUST BEGINNING THEIR CAREER IN CYBER SECURITY?
I guess advice for somebody wanting to get into cybersecurity that was perhaps in the under-20 age bracket, because I guess, I don't want to kind of alienate people that perhaps haven't gone to university, or haven't gone through higher education because that's not necessarily the route in. YouTube, the internet have got a plethora of resources available that will help you to pick up the tips, the tricks, the technologies, the understanding of how to do cyber related technical stuff. They're not so good at helping out the soft skills but that's kind of another comment. For me, for an individual in that space is learn, open your mind to what is out there. You need to kind of, I guess almost be Jedi-like and there's probably a bit of a movie theme here to the answers right? But be wary of the dark side. So the kind of altruistic, kind of criminal side of cyber can be quite Hollywood and attractive, but actually it's not where you want to play. Actually you can still do all of that great stuff, breaking into places, highlighting holes and vulnerabilities and kind of proving your worth but you can do that for the greater good and you can do that on the good side and get paid for it at the same time. The route to success is probably a little longer, but actually the skills are the same. So for me, that's kind of a big focus area is just nothing should be off the table, use that creative freedom that you have when you're that old, just explore and work out what you enjoy doing and learn whatever you can. I also think there's a really good community in InfoSec across the globe. Whether it be sort of practitioner conferences like B-sides, or something a bit more established like RSA, and all the practitioners that kind of associate with those events or those organisations that reach out to the community and get involved. Whether that's locally, or internationally, use social media, there's some great accounts that are worth their weight in following to get an interest and idea as to what the real world looks like.
I think cyber securities is an Industry people can move into later on in their careers, but it's hard. It's not necessarily hard for that individual because it's something that they've done, it's hard because organisations aren't necessarily geared up to deal with that change, to respond to the needs and demands of that individual, that they want that polished practitioner because of a mature candidate would kind of assume one would have 20, 15, 10 years worth of experience doing a similar related field. But, actually the field that I've spent my career in is completely different to where I am today and organisations don't like taking those risks because they want a safe pair of hands, so it's going to be hard because you're going up against a lot of bias pretty much, because the whole recruitment process is driven towards recruiting conditioned, experienced individuals. But actually what you need to then demonstrate is your passion, your drive, the positivity, all the right behaviours that will make you a right fit for that organisation. You can teach the technical stuff, if it's a technical piece that the role is, the candidate is looking for, but the behaviours, the integrity of that individual is something that you can’t, and it's really important to get that across during that selection process.
WHAT ARE TWO OR THREE ATTRIBUTES THAT HAVE HELPED YOU ACHIEVE YOUR SUCCESS?
For me, in kind of building this team quite successfully over the last few months, I think the the main thing that’s really kind of driven me is empathy because I'm kind of - we're all human, I'm human and kind of understanding that we've all got jobs to do, but we've all got personal lives outside of work. So whilst we've got our business objectives, and kind of security direction that we need to take, actually being supportive of a candidate that we took on board, as an example, that was retraining, hasn't been in cybersecurity at all, self-funded themselves through a Masters program in cyber following a career in risk management in the NHS. But actually recognising they've got a young family at home, to get to the office is a two-hour commute, that we've gone against the grain in our more traditional working hours and kind of allowances, to enable that person to work more remotely at home, to save them coming into the office. Sort of, I guess, concept of work is something that we do, rather than somewhere we are. But I appreciate that, and I feel I can get the best out of my teams by kind of being - demonstrating empathy with them.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FUNDAMENTAL BEHAVIOURS YOU LOOK FOR WHEN RECRUITING?
So, I think some of the… - for me - the behaviours that I guess, we look to recruit and retain, attract for the future positions that we hold, there's probably five or six of them I think that I would really call out. Energy, so an individual needs to have energy and certainly in this field, boundless supplies of it. What we do at times can be very hard and very demanding physically as well as mentally, so to have that kind of ‘get up and go’ constantly, day after day after day needs to be there. Yeah there’s time off for good behaviour and all that, but actually somebody needs to be highly motivated and have that energy that comes with it. A can-do attitude, that nothing should be off the table. It's far too too common to get kind of like a pessimistic security practitioner that, “nobody will listen to me. The business won't want to do this, therefore we're not going to do it.” And positivity or a positive outlook, it is absolutely key because it doesn't take long for that kind of negative kind of vibe to then spread to other parts of the team, other parts of the organisation. The honesty, I think is fundamental. The fact that what we do is very integral to the core of any organisation and to have a position where you can be upstanding in character, have the integrity and the ability to sort of be honest with the organisation in terms of what you will get involved in, what you will see, will be highly sensitive, highly confidential and people need to trust you, so you need to be of that sort of ilk. Another behaviour I think is gonna be quite key the willingness to learn. As I've mentioned before, I'd much rather hire on behaviours, if the technical skills weren't right there. I will quietly spend time and resources training the right candidate in the relative field whether it be working with particular technologies, firewalls, products, networks etc. infrastructure. I always find the soft skills quite harder to teach because some people have a natural kind of draw to it, others it's kind of a bit of a challenge. Timekeeping, I think that's just the OCD in me because we need to kind of manage our own time. We’ll have a lot to do, there'll be lots of deadlines that need to be met and kind of tied with that, I guess, it's a bit of punctuality. In a business environment, when we say we're going to be somewhere at a particular time we need to be there. If we've committed to delivering a piece of work by a particular date, we need to deliver and that whole time management piece is really key. From a recruiters perspective, it's very hard. It's finding the right individual to kind of to fit the role that's kind of being recruited for, that fills those attributes we've talked about it. It is really difficult. Not to mention the fact that the security recruitment agencies and industry has exploded with the whole kind of cyber boom. It was almost kind of like our Y2k, then the GDPR, the demand for cyber expertise has just exploded. As a result of that, you've got people coming into the industry, either new into recruitment, or that have kind of done more traditional recruitment before, trying to capitalise on this, and I get that, right, it's kind of the way the world works, but actually I think that security professionals recruit based on relationships, and for me, the secret source for the recruiters, they need to then have those relationships as well. This isn't just about kind of doing a keyword search against your CV database and going ‘you've asked for cyber security, London’ and sending raft-loads of CVs. People want to know about the people right? So this varies from roles whether you’re recruiting at junior security analyst level, all the way up to kind of security leaders across the business. I don't want to hear about the latest and greatest CV that you might have, I want to hear about the person you've got that you think is going to be right for the role. So, in terms of the advice I’d give to the recruiters, and the recruitment industry, it's about bringing those relationships that you do have- because they do exist, right?- cause that's the way the world works, that's the way the industry works, is bringing that to the clients and bringing that to our attention as the hiring organisation or hiring manager and saying ‘talk more about the people’. And for me, that's where you'll differentiate yourselves, because the new entrants into the market, they won't have those relationships, they'll be farming, kind of searching on Linkedin and doing those keyword searches and just throwing people almost under a bus in some cases because the bad recruitment processes are the ones that people talk about. They don't necessarily talk about how the great ones are, the good ones that help people get people into business. So for me, it's very much around those relationships.
HOW DOES RECRUITMENT STRATEGY DIFFER FROM CYBER SECURITY TO OTHER SECTORS?
I joined the Legal sector 12 months ago, coming in from sort of Big Four consulting in Financial Services, insurance, investment, and I tell you what, it's been a big breath of fresh air. It's been hard, bringing the organisation around to what it is we need to do here, but actually a lot of that work was already done. My business case, I put to the board, my board, our partners, equity shareholders within the organisation, the owners of the business. So I'm talking directly to the decision maker who has the view and the authority to take a decision on what we do with this organisation. In the Financial Services space, certainly based here here in London, it was a lot more governed there, there was a lot more risk management there, there was a lot more kind of committees and process, to actually get to the point where you needed to sort of get that decision saying, “yes, have some money, have some budget and resource, have some support to go away and do this” and it wasn't always forthcoming. So I was very fortunate our board are very switched on, they're aware that cybersecurity is a massive risk to the industry. The NCSC have just published guidance around legal sector cyber risks as well, so there's a lot of focus on us at the moment, and we take pride in protecting the clients, of protecting the partnership which is what we need to do. So, from a security point of view, for me it's been very much kind of like a unicorn security role, that you've got that board support from the top down, you've got teams from the bottom up that want to do security because we want to protect the clients, we want to protect the partnership. The culture here is very much, it almost feels my family sometimes because everyone's just here for the right thing to do for the firm. So, with that the top and that at the bottom, and I guess information security in the middle, it's just refreshing that we've just got that wholehearted support to just get on and do the right thing.
WHAT THREE THINGS CAN PEOPLE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY DO TO EDUCATE AND INFORM THOSE OUTSIDE THE SECTOR?
Okay, so probably the three things to get people more involved from outside the sector, I think if you’re on social media, make it known on your profile that you're willing to talk to people, that you're approachable and will give that advice, and that's not that time-consuming, it's not a big thing, but that will mean a world because people will look at your profile before they even kind of make contact. Schools and education is a really important one. Your organisation will be ecstatic that you want to get into the community and give something back. Go and find some local schools in the area and go and offer to do some career advice and talks to some of the kids and students coming through. I think it is an equally important thing and helps with the kind of societal impact, and kind of the importance that organisations are driving forward now. I think the third piece is actually push yourselves out of the comfort zone. So don't just attend a cybersecurity conference, go and attend a conference for procurement managers and contracts, or agriculture and industry, just to go and meet some new people because that variance and flavour that you won't get, from you being in that particular field. Likewise, they won't get from you and that cross-fertilisation is really important.
How can you educate and inform others about cyber security and information security? CISO of Publicis Group Thom Langford explains his best methods for spreading the word.
You know it. We know it. Information Security is not just the domain of your IT staff. As a cyber security professional you are undoubtedly aware of the part all employees play in the overall level of cyber security within your business. You know that in order to mitigate risk in Information Security you need to radically overhaul your company culture to reflect cyber security vulnerabilities and what each and every employee can do about them.
Why Create a Culture of Information Security
When the corporate culture in your business has been shifted to one that takes a serious and holistic approach to cyber security then there will be enormous benefits. When cyber security vulnerabilities are part of general awareness and general response then the result is far more disciplined methods of business, which are ultimately good for the bottom line. Additionally, a culture of cyber security improves and builds upon both customer and stakeholder trust. With branding being essential to your success, reliable cyber security makes you a brand to be trusted. And of course, there is the reduced overall information security risk that comes about from a cyber security culture.
So how do you enact a complete culture change?
5 Strategies to Cyber Security Culture Creation
1. Raise Awareness
Ignorance is bliss until that ignorance is the cause of a problem. Your first step is to identify the problem areas within your business and start to raise awareness about them. By raising awareness you remove ignorance as a defence and start to create the building blocks of a corporate culture dedicated to upholding cyber security. One of the easiest ways to do this is through the creation of an Information Security Policy which forms part of your Employee Handbook.
High on your agenda should be training for all employees on cyber security and their responsibilities within that. Once employees are aware of the problem, they need to be given the tools with which to act. Regular and repeatedly refreshed training should cover issues such as how to access, manage, utilise, store and destroy data. Whilst your domain is behind the computer screen, don’t forget that this training must extend to both physical and digital data if you are wanting a holistic approach to data security.
Employees need to be trained to understand how their actions and inactions can expose their company to security breaches such as theft, fraud and data loss. Whilst you can’t mitigate all security vulnerabilities, they need to understand their part.
For smaller employers looking to ensure their employees adequately understand the cyber security threats to their business, look here.
3. Keep the Message Going
Don’t stop once the training course is finished. The benefit of training is improved when the message is repeated regularly. Therefore utilise internal communications to refresh and remind employees about their responsibilities towards cyber security. This might best be achieved through email, or the intranet and newsletters.
4. Don’t Keep it Digital
Many employees who work regularly and routinely with digital data, can gradually filter out important messages about information security in the pursuit of ease. Therefore, you might send an email reminding employees about data protection and information security, or you might flag it up on the intranet, but some employees will delete the message before it is even read. Therefore extend your reach beyond the computer screen and ensure a physical presence around the office. For example, you might put up warning and reminder signs near printers, shredders and in the staff canteen, or raise the topic at town hall meetings.
5. Work from the Top Down
Company culture often reflects the nature of the senior managers and board members. Therefore, none of the above steps will be effective without getting the top level of the company on board and encouraging them to feed down a culture of information security.
To do this you need to identify their motivation. Both a carrot and stick approach can be taken. The benefits of a good cyber security culture need to be highlighted. Senior management and the board need to understand that reputations can be bolstered by excellent cyber security. Additionally, they need to understand the flip side of the coin. Cyber security professionals need to convey to the most senior staff exactly what a cyber security breach might look like in their individual circumstances and the financial, legal and reputational damage that it may cause.
Further, you need to ensure that a collaborative approach is taken by senior management whereby every department understands they are on the same side with information security. Securing cyber security vulnerabilities is a complete team effort and not a competition.
In order to ensure that you build a culture of information security that continues to adapt whatever the current cyber risks you need to continually review the above 5 strategies. In so doing, your cyber security culture will help to mitigate risk and keep your business and data secure.