By: Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Consultant,Carbonite + Webroot
As the pandemic continues,businesses are increasingly considering more hybrid ways of workingas opposed to having employees be fully remote or fully in the office. While the benefits of a hybrid approach are clear to see, it does mean thatinsecure personal devices willstill be used for work-relatedactivities.
Securing hybrid work environments, which includes home networks and devices, poses many different challenges for businesses. For example, home networks and their configurations are diverse, and some are usingout of date routers with less-than-ideal or non-existent security settings.
In addition, personal devices used for work, are twice as likely to encounter infections in comparison to business devices. This could have a serious impact on businesses in a time when the global pandemic has already damaged the bottom line of many.
As cyberattacks against businesses and individuals continue to proliferate, technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence)and ML (Machine Learning) can drastically improve threat detection, protection and prevention – all critical aspects in maintaining cyber resilience.
It is clear from Carbonite + Webroot’s annual AI and ML report that IT professionals need to work on their understanding of the technology. Although 95% of IT decision makers in the UK use AI/ML technology, 58% of those surveyed admit they are still unsure of what the technology means. Businesses need to do more to ensure staff are properly educated on how to use the cybersecurity tools at their disposal effectively to maintain cyber resilience.
Investing in AI/ML can help aid existing resources
In the past, there has been general confusion around AI/ML technologies and their role in cybersecurity and business continuity. Many businesses and individuals place a largeemphasis on whether they perceive their technology to be working, rather than concrete measures of its ability to perform or whether they understand how it works.
Going forward, businesses can help improve both their employees’ and their own understandingof AI/ML by partnering with cybersecurity vendors who have long-standing experience using and developing the technology. These vendors will be able to provide expert guidance, allowing businesses to achieve the highest levels of cyber resilience and effectively maximisethe capabilities of the human analysts on their teams. This will also benefit the employees who will directlylearn about AI/ML technology and how it operates, making the company more secure and its employees more capable to react in a cyber-attack situation. It will also help employees to develop new skills, in a time where there is a technology skills shortage.
How SMBs, with limited budgets and IT security resources, can choose their cybersecurity solutions wisely
All businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, no matter their size. It’s therefore critical to putsecurity and cyber resilience practices at the top of the agenda and prioritise them during budget discussions.
If SMBs are unable to source their own dedicated IT security resources and/or experts, partnering with a vendor that can supply both is one way to ensure a secure and resilient cyber strategy. However, it is just as important to vet the security of vendors and partners in the supply chain as it is to vet the company’s own security. If a business is holding sensitive data relating to another business when they get breached, then the original business is compromised too – even if they weren’t the intended target.
The right partners will be able to provide AI/ML-enabledsolutions and share their expertise and offer training to employees, which can help develop the knowledge needed to ensure that the company is getting the mostout of the tools it already uses. Investing in training businesses’own teams and end-usersis a particularly good way of boosting a cyber resilience strategy on a limited budget.
How businesses can do more to ensure staff are properly educated on how to use AI/ML cybersecurity tools at their disposal effectively
Businesses can ensure their staff are properly educated on how to use AI/ML cybersecurity tools at their disposal effectively by increasing the understanding of the technologies through proper education and implementing training. This will help to reach the maximum return on cyber security investments.
As attacks become more sophisticated, using advanced technologies that use AI/ML is becoming one of the key ways to effectively combat threats and ensure availability for the business and its customers. It’s vital that businesses and individuals alike embrace security and continuity layers equally; the key to maintaining resilience and service availability is a blend of proactive security controls combinedwith robustbackup and disaster recovery solutions.
With cyberattacks and other data threats on the rise, coupled with the challenges of managing a remote or hybrid workforce post-pandemic, it’s crucial that businesses improve their understanding of these tools and pair them with backup and disaster recovery solutions. By doing so, they’ll be able to improve security, maintain cyber resilience and ensure service availability.
Investing in AI/ML technology now will helppropel businesses forward and create long term success. Making the choice to invest now will benefit a business’s future, helping to prevent future cyberattacks and to improve the skills and knowledge of the company and its employees.