Dec 21 2018

3 Cybersecurity Myths That Can Stifle Business Growth

These misconceptions are especially pernicious, so don’t let them get in the way.

Every day, there are more news stories about data breaches compromising networks and customer information all over the world. Because of this escalation, cybersecurity has become a serious concern for businesses and consumers as they fight to keep their information safe. After all, not only does a cyberattack have the potential to leak customer credentials, it can also cost a business valuable time and money. Experts now predict cybercrime damages will reach $6 trillion by 2021, and a single breach can cost a business as much as $4 million.

While concern over how to stay safe online is legitimate, many businesses are allowing misconceptions about security to prevent them from adopting new technologies. That’s a mistake, as it can stifle growth. Here are a few common myths about security and connectivity.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: A small business how-to guide for digital transformation.

Myth 1: The Cloud Makes Businesses More Vulnerable to Attack

Among certain industries, such as public safety, there is a large anticloud sentiment. Since there is sensitive information being accessed on their networks — such as criminal records, personal addresses, names and more — there is a tremendous fear of being compromised and a much lower tolerance for risk.

In reality, in order for most companies to better execute and compete, they have to embrace the cloud and a shared-responsibility model for security. Even with sensitive information on their applications and networks, enterprises can reduce the risk of cloud technology by following trusted security practices. Any company evaluating new technologies should use industry-specific risk management frameworks to identify potential risks.  

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are also created when enterprises delay software patches and updates. One way to avoid this risk is to use cloud-based management platforms that continually update thousands of edge LTE-enabled firewalls and routers supporting them. By using a cloud manager, you can achieve real-time monitoring and patching capabilities so that one person can manage your software-defined WAN, Internet of Things and 4G LTE connectivity and keep the edge of the network secure. 

Myth 2: Adopting the Internet of Things Introduces New Risks

First and foremost, some businesses make the mistake of thinking of IoT as only including smart devices such as speakers and thermostats. While those devices are considered IoT, they are not generally applicable to most enterprise use cases. IoT for business is more about managing and securing high-value assets such as ATMs, video surveillance, digital signage and HVAC monitoring. By 2020, according to Gartner, nearly every large corporation, organization or government agency will be heavily involved in IoT, or at least want to be. Gartner predicts the aggregated value and economic benefit of IoT will exceed $1.9 trillion by that date. 

The most common misconception surrounding security and connectivity for IoT devices is that the more IoT devices one has, the less secure one is. Some believe that if a single device is compromised, there is nothing stopping the rest of the network from being in jeopardy. 

One of the best ways to prevent even one IoT device from being breached on a network and compromising other resources is through a combination of LTE-enabled parallel networking and software-defined perimeter technologies. In combination, these technologies make it easy to connect people and things to applications and resources with software and physical segmentation from an organization’s core business data and applications, eliminating the possibility of a compromised IoT device.  

Multiple device types can be connected directly with SDPs via a software client, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and even Docker containers. For unsupported devices, such as IoT sensors or security cameras, admins can connect the IoT device to the parallel network behind an LTE router acting as an SDP gateway. This technique adds a layer of physical security and software-defined policies to an IoT deployment and reduces the overall attack surface for an enterprise network. 


Myth 3: It’s Unsafe to Run a Business on all 4G Wireless Technology

Many businesses worry that running all wireless is both too expensive and not secure enough. Thus, many adopt Voice over IP over any broadband WAN when voice over IP over LTE could perform more reliably. 

In many cases, there are more security controls and technology around LTE than some of the wired broadband networks delivered over physical cables from hundreds of providers for an enterprise.

Businesses should adopt a zero-trust policy and assume that devices, users, networks and workloads can be compromised at any time. But at the end of the day, the primary way that hackers can get in is through human errors. By practicing online safety habits such as never opening links from unknown sources, not plugging devices into networks you don’t know and keeping your passwords private, a business greatly decreases its risk for attack.

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