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Key Steps to Manage Cybersecurity Threats

June 18, 2019
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Key Steps to Manage Cybersecurity Threats

By Katharene Expedit

The current digital ecosystem, especially with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), generates voluminous data – structured, semi-structured and unstructured at very high speeds, both internally within business systems and externally through social media sites and smart mobile devices. Using big data analytics, businesses harness this data extensively for decision- making and to identify new opportunities.

As a result of this extensive reliance on data and hyperconnectivity of the IoT, data has become a prime target for hackers. Advances in Big Data analytics also provide tools to extract and utilise data, making violations easier. As such, there is an urgent need to protect business data and information from cybercriminals and cyberthreats.

These threats are a key risk for businesses in the digital age and one of the major concerns of accountants in adopting technology in their business.

Do consider taking precautionary steps to secure your data and protect against malware (a contraction of malicious software) attacks, such as the following:

  1. Ensure that your data is not compromised and safe, encrypt your data and create a backup on another hard drive or in the cloud.
  2. Install cybersecurity software that could prevent attacks from the various types of malwares. These could include utilising:
    – Big Data Analytic tools to combat cyber-attacks. These enable users to observe, examine and analyse data and information collected and thereafter detect irregularities. It aims to uncover hidden patterns, intricate correlations, market trends, consumer preferences, and other useful information. It uses advanced statistical and data science models for speed detection, while real-time stream processing enables rapid threat analysis.
    – Big Data Security Analytics to monitor and automate workflows to curb employee related security threats. These enable the submission of a suspicious event to an internally managed or an outsourced security service for further analysis. With the help of network flows, logs, and system events, big data analytics can identify anomalies and suspicious activities.
    – Intrusion Detection System (IDS) which is much more powerful than the common security techniques of firewalls, data encryption, and multi-factor authentication, given the growing sophistication of cyber breaches. Intrusion refers to hacking the system or a network that harms the security of information. IDS is a type of security software designed to automatically alert administrators when someone or something is trying to compromise information system through malicious activities or through security policy violations.  An IDS works by monitoring system activity through examining vulnerabilities in the system, the integrity of files and conducting an analysis of patterns based on already known attacks. It also automatically monitors the Internet to search for any of the latest threats which could result in a future attack.
  3. Ensure your employees are aware of cyberthreats, able to identify websites or links that contain malware and the actions required as soon as a threat/potential threat to the system is detected.

By erecting the proper and effective cyber defences, accountants can harness the incredible benefits of digital transformation and technology adoption while making their practices and business faster, better and safer.

References:

Cybersecurity for Accountants. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nysscpa.org/news/publications/the -tax-stringer/stringer-article-for-authors/cybersecurity-for-accountants
Delgado.R. (2018, March 01). How Big Data Analytics is Boosting Cybersecurity. Retrieved from http://dataconomy.com/2018/03/big-data-analytics-boosting-cybersecurity/
M. Britel, “Big Data Analytic for Intrusion Detection System,” 2018 International Conference on Electronics, Control, Optimization and Computer Science (ICECOCS), Kenitra, 2018, pp. 1-5.
doi: 10.1109/ICECOCS.2018.8610578
What is an Intrusion Detection System (IDS)? – Definition from Techopedia. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/3988/intrusion-detection-system-ids
Kathayat, B.S. (2018, October 02). Big data analytics could be a powerful weapon against cyber security threats. Retrieved from https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/how-big-data-analytics-could-be-a-powerful-weapon-against-cyber-security-threats

Katharene Expedit is a Senior Manager from the Assurance & Digital Transformation Department of MIA