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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 10, 2022 • Issue 22:01:01

Readers Speak: Heads up on cybersecurity

The following is excerpted from insights Jeffrey J. Engle, chairman and president at Conquest Cyber, conquestcyber.com, sent to emphasize the critical need to secure our infrastructure.

"If you’re waiting for a cybersecurity 9/11 or a ransomware Pearl Harbor to punch us in the gut, wake up. The equivalent has already happened. More than one, in fact. Maybe SolarWinds and Colonial Pipeline didn’t have the devastating visuals of those other American tragedies. But they exposed deep vulnerabilities in how we run our world and live our lives. We’ve allowed foes to infiltrate our infrastructure and stay there, undetected. And our response? We issue fines.

"However, if we give the problem our full attention and the right level of risk management, we can mitigate the worst impacts—or stop attacks altogether. So, where do we start?

"First, this requires a World War II-level of mobilization: either you’re in the fight, or you support the fight. Second, our critical assets like government agencies, the power grid, hospitals, banks, the defense industrial base, and other infrastructure and industries need to ask themselves: What’s on your network? What assets are supposed to be connected? Who’s on your network? Is everyone working remotely supposed to be there? What data are you trying to protect? These are the most basic elements of cyber hygiene.

"Third, we need to shift people’s mindset to solve problems with a risk-based approach. Too many decision-makers stick to the way they’ve always done it. Too many institutions choose the probability of a fine over the cost of change, even though it’s much more costly to recover from an incident than prevent one.

"Achieving constant cybersecurity effectiveness, not just compliance, is eminently doable. You must pick up new habits and ditch old ones. We need to start now, because the attacks won’t stop. Let’s not wait to take action until something worse happens."

How vulnerable are you?

How vulnerable is the U.S. infrastructure right now? What are you doing in your sphere to secure networks and data? What should others be doing? Let us know at greensheet@greensheet.com. end of article

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