Mounting global cybersecurity threats, compounded with the ever-developing technology behind said threats, is giving rise to serious information security-related concerns. Last year already proved to be a tough one for Info-Sec professionals, the world over, and if 2017 is any indication, this remaining half of 2018 will be even tougher.

More sophisticated threats, including those primed to penetrate the weak spots in organizational information frameworks, enhanced ransomware elements, and internal human error-based information risks are all cause for increased cybersecurity measures. Unfortunately, all of the above is causing information security professionals to lag behind in terms of expertise. On the other hand, there is some good news, in the form of comprehensive information security training, to bolster the skills of potential information security professionals and ensure businesses maintain their data infrastructure integrity.

To understand how information security will be under threat in 2018, in this article, we will be discussing the top 5 challenges faced by information security professionals, as well as how said challenges can be mitigated through information security certification training.

Challenge 1: Potential Insider Threats

Just to clarify; there are two types of internal data risks plaguing enterprises. The first is backed by malicious intent, and the second is purely unintentional and has the aforementioned human error element attached to it. I any case, internal data leaks and infrastructure damage is a major cause for concern for IT enterprises, mainly due to a lack of proper measures against this particular challenge.

The malicious insider leaks have very clear intentions behind them, and are rarer; however, unintentional threats to data could be an everyday occurrence, mainly due to the increasing number of individual identities, or personalized devices being introduced to the workplace. These devices, which utilize IoT (Internet of Things), are connected with unclear security protocols in place. This then leads to data being either captured on suspicious devices or leaked out to other parties which may not be part of the organization.  

Challenge 2: External Breaches

An external breach in an organization’s data stores is perhaps the most damaging kind of information security risk. This is because of the inherent vulnerability in the security framework of just about every enterprise, regardless of their security fabric. The biggest cause of this is a poorly equipped information security team, which, despite putting up a seemingly stable and data protection system, can still leave vulnerable points and gaps. These gaps can be exploited by hackers, with employees also unintentionally accessing the gaps, and sending out sensitive data.

Incorrectly configured cloud environments, as well as inadequate security code and app design, are mostly to blame for external breaches. Often, the sources of the breach are very basic technical paths, which can be reinforced with the right code

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Challenge 3: Rise of CaaS

Crime-as-a-Service is the latest in an ever-growing batch of malicious software-based elements, and is a constant bane of financial institutions’ existence. The technology behind CaaS offerings is purpose-built for the sole purpose of stealing data, holding it for ransom, or another similar effect. What’s even more serious, is that these service packages can enable hackers with minimal expertise to launch crippling attacks against organizations.

CaaS software packs were developed by massive cybercrime syndicates already operating on a very large scale, and sometimes posing as legitimate companies. Although these entities have been conducting their attacks for several years now, it is the home-based newbie hacker that will prove dangerous in the immediate future, especially when armed with a cyber crime kit.

Challenge 4: Weak Links in the Supply Chain

Regardless of the industry, every enterprise that offers a product or service has a supply chain, which may be subject to data vulnerabilities. Throughout the development cycle of a product, sensitive information, either related to the product, the development process and technologies involved, or the company itself, is shared with various parties, including the vendors. This immediately takes full control of the data out of the company’s hands, and possibly into parties with ulterior motives.

Additionally, even if the external parties do not make negative use of the data; their own systems, on which the relayed data is stored, could be compromised, leading to inadvertent information leaks.

Challenge 5: IoT-centric Breaches

The internet of things is connectivity heaven at the moment, with a vast number of smart devices being connected over central network. This presents a major vulnerability, in terms of privacy of information. Since the devices need some form of data input to function properly, said data is provided, and looped across the entire network. At any point in the loop, the data could be accessed by outside sources, such as the vendor or other parties connected to the IoT network.

Mitigating Information Security Challenges through Cyber Security Training

Each of the vulnerabilities mentioned earlier have some involvement of coding and/or development negligence, which can very easily be circumvented through information security training, administered according to each of the aforementioned, and more challenges.

Both insider risks and external threats can be eliminated by providing infrastructure-bolstering information security training, which delivers functional knowledge of data-security fundamentals, tuned to current and future technologies. Weak links in the supply chain can be rectified by embedding information risk management in the vendor management and procurement processes. And finally, issues with devices based in the internet of things can be eliminated by teaching how to construct safer networks which ensure prevention of data trickles and unnecessary relays.

Moving forward, it will be exceedingly necessary to deliver efficient cyber security learning, in order to both strengthen data frameworks and create much better and secure organizational infrastructure.

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