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  • Writer's pictureOakland Solutions

Secure By Design: Shifting the Burden of Cybersecurity


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At Oakland Solutions, we know that cybersecurity for small businesses has grown more difficult to maintain, because cyberattacks are more sophisticated and, unfortunately with the help of AI, more frequent. On top of that, the cybersecurity burden rests squarely on the shoulders of consumers and small businesses owners, instead of with the developers and producers of the technology we rely on.


Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently remarked that "Consumer safety must be front and center in all phases of the technology product lifecycle-with security designed in from the very beginning."


This is where "Secure by Design" practices enter the picture.


Top Cyberthreats of Today


To understand the gravity of the situation, it's important to know what you're facing. Cybersecurity attacks have evolved significantly over the years. These include:


1. Ransomware: Malware that encrypts your data and demands a ransom for decryption. One of the costliest and deadliest attacks for small businesses.


2. Phishing: Deceptive emails or messages that trick you and/or your employees into revealing sensitive information. Eighty-three percent of companies experience at least one of these types of attack each year.


3. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Long-term cyberattacks aimed at stealing sensitive data. CISA describes it as the advanced persistent threat: (i) pursues its objectives repeatedly over an extended period of time; (ii) adapts to defenders’ efforts to resist it; and (iii) is determined to maintain the level of interaction needed to execute its objectives.


4. Zero-Day Exploits: Attacks that target vulnerabilities not yet known to software developers.


5. IoT Vulnerabilities: Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as home automation, supply chain management and predictive maintenance, to compromise networks.


These evolving threats underscore the need to prevent attacks before they occur, instead reacting after the damage has been done.


What Is Secure by Design Cybersecurity?


Secure by Design products are those where the security of the customers is required in the design, and manufacturing of products and not just a technical feature. This will dramatically reduce the number of exploitable flaws before they are introduced to the market for broad use or consumption.


The foundation of Secure by Design strategies are:

1. Risk Assessment: Identifying potential security risks and vulnerabilities early in the design phase.


2. Standard Framework: Maintain consistency when applying security standards by following a framework. Such as CIS Critical Security Controls, HIPAA, or GDPR.


3. Least Privilege: Limiting access to resources to only those who need it for their roles.


4. Defense in Depth: Implementing many layers of security to protect against various threats.


5. Regular Updates: Ensuring that security measures are continuously updated to address new threats.


6. User Education: Educating users about security best practices and potential risks.


Two Ways Small Businesses Can Incorporate This Strategy


Begin by making cybersecurity and Secure by Design principles the core of your own business infrastructure, instead of adding it as an afterthought.


And more importantly, make sure when purchasing hardware or software, your supplier implements Secure by Design practices. If not, you may want to consider a different vendor.


Does Your Small Business Need a Cybersecurity Update?


If your cybersecurity plan is more than a few years old, it's vital for your protection that you update it soon. At Oakland Solutions LLC, we provide top support for small businesses. Give us a call today to schedule a chat about your company's IT security.


Oakland Solutions LLC 248-689-1439


Excerpts used with permission from The Technology Press.

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