The People, Process, and Technology of Cybersecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic generated an increase in cyber threats. According to a security magazine, Ransomware attacks rose by 92.7% in 2021 whilst comparison to 2020. With an increase in the use of digital technology comes an increase in cyber threats and with each passing day, such threats are evolving, and the need for constant attention arising.

Organizations today, are seeking out ways to mitigate the risks related to cyber threats and the truth is, there may be no silver bullet solution to protecting businesses from cyber threats.

Understanding, and striking a good balance of the three pillars of cybersecurity: people, process, and technology will make any organization run both effectively and efficiently in protecting its businesses from cyber threats. Let’s have a closer consideration of these three elements in detail.

People

People are the foundation of any organization, they play an essential role in protecting or exposing the cyber security posture of an organization.

Often considered the most important pillar of cybersecurity, the adage the chain is only as strong as the weakest link, holds genuine with people in cybersecurity as research suggests that up to 90% of all cybersecurity breaches are caused by human mistakes, proving people to be the weakest link in cybersecurity.

Even with the best technology, if not implemented or managed effectively will be useless as a single careless act by an individual can expose the whole system and cause significant damage to the organization.

Everyone (IT professionals or users) needs to be aware of cyber security and their responsibilities in this regard. However, with the right process and training skills on cyber security, people can be turned into human firewalls which will greatly help in tackling cyber security threats.

Processes

Even though People are regarded as the greatest risk but with the right processes, they don’t have to be. And processes are nothing if people don’t comply with them correctly.

Processes are structured sets of activities designed to achieve a specific set of objectives. The structured set of activities is crucial to implementing an effective cyber security strategy.

This pillar of cybersecurity ensures that strategies are in place to proactively prevent and respond quickly and effectively in the event of a cybersecurity incident. These processes are essential to define how the organization’s activities, roles, and documentation are used to protect its information. Such processes need to be reviewed always.

This pillar is made up of more than one component (management systems, governance, policies, and procedures) and all these parts must be addressed for the process pillar to be effective.

A proper management system must be put in place to strengthen the processes. Everyone needs to understand their duties and responsibilities when it comes to cyber security as this will increase their security awareness and increase their resilience.

Technology

This pillar in cybersecurity involves putting the right systems in place to automate processes and make them smarter and more effective for the people using them.

There are a host of technologies that an organization’s security teams can implement to achieve a robust and secure structure that aligns with the organization’s security architecture.

These technologies can include solutions like network security (UTM, NAC, and firewall), perimeter security (IDS, IPS, and DMZ), data security (DLP, IAM, and PAM), endpoint security (EDR, sandboxing, antivirus/antimalware), security operation (SIEM, SOAR, and XDR), cloud security, application security, among others.

The combination of these tools will create a well-rounded approach to cybersecurity, making breaches harder to achieve while improving the ability to detect a potential threat.

Whilst an organization effectively balances the pillar of cybersecurity (people, process, and technology), it is possible to build a sturdy and synergistic defense framework that fully supports cybersecurity which in turn effectively and efficiently protects its businesses from cyber threats.

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