Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Ali Hamza
Table of Contents
Did you know that in the modern-day, you can no longer stop cyberattacks only with antivirus software? Well, the risk of cyberattacks is rising at an alarming rate.
Unfortunately, most companies still don’t know of cyberattacks’ threats to their operational technology (OT) assets.
Statistics in 2019 revealed that 88% of organizations globally underwent spear-phishing attempts. The same data reports that 68% of business leaders state that their cybersecurity risks are increasing.
So, it’s no longer a matter of ‘what if it ever happens for organizations and institutions.’ Instead, organizations now ask the question, “when can it happen?” This explains why cyber security is a critical consideration that you can’t afford to ignore.
With OT security providers, you can benefit from software used in monitoring, detecting, and controlling changes to your devices, processes, and events.
With a reliable OT security company, you’re able to secure your industrial network. You also get to enjoy the management of your technology security tasks all from one place.
Such operation technology secures your industrial network without risking non-compliance or distracting operations.
They offer solutions that:
- Allow complete visibility of network control traffic
- Establish the right security policies
- Puts an effective OT security framework in place
All the above strategies help protect people, processes, and profits. They intervene by significantly reducing security incidents and vulnerabilities.
What is Cybersecurity, and Why is it Critical Today?
Perhaps you’re trying to reflect upon the question, “what is cyber security?” This is the application of operational technology, processes, and controls. You do this to safeguard your data, networks, devices, and programs from cyber attacks.
Think about today’s computerized world. There are new risks that keep emerging every hour. With many people connecting to the internet, there’s an open possibility of hackers targeting your business.
That’s why cybercrime is becoming a big venture. And, cyber risk is now a center of focus by organizations and governments worldwide.
If organizations don’t come up with appropriate cybersecurity plans, monetary and reputational risks will continue rising. IFAC states that cybersecurity is critical for small and large organizations.
This explains why presently, most small businesses cannot carry out their errands without involving third-party vendors. The report by IFAC shows that 62% of small businesses involve vendors. They take such measures to safeguard themselves from cybersecurity threats.
Who Are Cybersecurity Vendors?
Cybersecurity vendors are people who you can entrust with your company’s sensitive information. They offer services to clients like:
- Outsourced technology support
- Vulnerability analysis
- Managed services
- Penetration testing
- System auditing
- Software tools
- Consulting services
Each vendor has a different area of specialization. But, generally, they work using techniques like:
- Advanced threat protection security
- Data loss prevention
When you engage in a vendor risk management program, you ensure that there’s:
- Reduction in the frequency of data breaches
- Lower the severity of data leaks
- A decline in cyberattacks that involve third and fourth-parties
- Protection of sensitive data and intellectual property
- Continuity of business
Now, why do you need a vendor’s cybersecurity for protection? Let’s find out more below.
Reasons Why You Need a Cybersecurity Vendor for Protection
Are you trying to find out the best way to protect your organization from data breaches and cyber-attacks? Well, it’s convenient to work with a cybersecurity vendor. They help in cybersecurity risk mitigation in the ways below.
1. Installing firewalls
Firewalls are software that vendors will implement to protect your organization’s OT security devices.
They are designed to create a barrier between your organization’s IT systems and the external networks.
The firewall helps to monitor network traffic. The software also blocks anything that could end up damaging your computers, networks, and systems.
2. Patch management
When a software provider fixes a case of vulnerability on their applications, its users need to download the update (patch).
Therefore, you must keep track of the updates you’ve applied and ensure that they are installed successfully.
3. Conducting a cyber security risk assessment
A cyber security risk assessment enables your organization to evaluate its weaknesses. As a result, you can gain insights into the best way to address them.
4. Creating an information security policy
Cybersecurity vendors help to create information security policies. This is as a result of a risk assessment.
They will often describe the vulnerabilities that have been spotted. They’ll also give an insight into the OT security measures that the organization chooses to adopt. All these measures aim to prevent vulnerabilities.
Usually, the vendors ensure that the document has a thorough outline of each risk involved. These professionals go ahead to take the relevant control measures.
They also apply organizations’ continual improvement strategies. Such includes when and how they’ll review the control effectiveness.
5. Encrypting sensitive data
In the context of information security, encryption helps in ‘scrambling’ sensitive data.’ The vendors do this to ensure that the data can only be accessed by authorized personnel. The authorized persons should have a decryption key.
By encrypting data, they assure you that even if criminal hackers try breaking into your systems, they cannot view your files. This is a step that helps mitigate the risk of data breaches. It’s also significant in preventing the violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) violation.
6. Conducting penetration tests
The penetration test is a way to control hacking. This is a case where a cyber security vendor works on behalf of your organization. The professional vendor tries all means to find exploits in the same manner, a criminal would.
The tests are more demanding than the automated scans. This is because they enable the actor to gain a deep insight into how criminals might access your sensitive data.
The penetration testers may, for instance, exploit system misconfigurations. They may also send your staff some phishing emails purposely to collect login credentials.
Finally, the ethical hacker will discover areas of vulnerabilities. As a result, they’ll help you to implement defenses against criminals. Most importantly, they implement OT security measures before criminals manage to target your organization.
Our modern-day environment emphasizes the importance of vendors more clearly than ever. Indeed, it’s due diligence to engage a cybersecurity vendor for the protection of your venture.
Remember that you can influence your vendor to strengthen their controls. You can also supplement them with your own controls.
Furthermore, you can decide whether you should continue working with that particular vendor, as necessary. An excellent way you can monitor a vendor’s security controls is by going through their SOC 2 report.
You can also check a comparable audit report available. A vendor breach can impact your brand image significantly. This is what we call reputational risk, and it’s not a territory you ever wish to find yourself in.