We have discussed various cybersecurity-related myths that abound, leaving many organizations with a distorted sense of accomplishment in their quest to protect and defend their data-driven fortresses from malicious malware and bad actors. 

Shifting your perspective

Regardless of what you or your organization do, it has become increasingly challenging to keep up with the world of malware and those who enjoy using it to their advantage. Ransomware attacks spiked to a new record in September 2023, increasing 153% over September 2022. With that level of growth, it is just a matter of time until every organization faces a ransomware attack. 

The prudent approach is to accept that fact and practice what to do in response. You must assume your organization is an active ransomware target and focus on prevention and recovery.  It is essential for organizations, at the board level, to have a “ransomware playbook” in place that includes not only means for identifying and addressing threats as they emerge but also how to survive when the best-laid plans fail. 

Preparing effectively

This does not mean one should not bother fighting and defending against digital diseases. However, just like catching a cold or other more dangerous disorders, we still take reasonable measures to prevent what we can. The mental shift in accepting that it will happen will help you look at your company's IT assets differently. 

You should look actively at your organizational attack surface, identify your assets, track their status and use, and understand where you need more protective measures. Once that is in place, you can lift your sights and look at your vendors, identifying their potential to disrupt your business and managing that risk more carefully. These perpetual tasks must be part of the routine IT and security operations.

Learning from your mistakes

Once the incident happens, you will also need capabilities to look back into historical data to determine when the organization was first exposed to the attack vector and understand how to prevent such failures as we advance. Recovery is always tricky, but it can be made easier if the organization has enough knowledge and the ability to learn from its mistakes.