Why an Outsider's Cybersecurity Perspective is Essential for CIOs

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An Outsider's Perspective


The view from a CIO’s ivory tower can not only be deceiving, but dangerous for the entire enterprise as well when it comes to the world of cybersecurity. Global Digital Forensics offers proven solutions which will lend that crucial outsider’s perspective to help CIOs significantly bolster an organization’s cybersecurity posture.

By definition, a CIO’s responsibility is to support the computer systems, technology and data for the enterprise, relying on their judgement and expertise to keep digital assets and environments secure and running smoothly. But CIOs can many times actually be doing a disservice to their responsibilities by focusing too heavily on making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when it comes to company policy and industry best practices, and not enough focus on getting an outsider’s perspective regularly.

Best practices and sound policies are of course instrumental to effective cyber security, but they are just playbooks, playbooks that many hackers know inside and out as well, from common defense tactics to widely used emergency response practices. What cybersecurity professionals from outside the organization bring to the table is a fresh look from a real-world perspective, and that’s not just instrumental, it’s crucial.

Social Engineering, Beating the Human Element

GDF has helped businesses of all sizes navigate the ever evolving cyber threat landscape since the infancy of the Internet, and if there is one thing he has seen proven time and time again, it’s that cybersecurity does not come in a one-size-fits-all solution, and that’s a problem when security is looked at through a purely academic lens. The real world of cyber threats is far more brutal than what you’ll learn about in the halls of academia, and when the stability and success of an entire organization rests in the balance, the stakes are just too high to not approach the problem from a real-world cyber attacker’s point of view. If there are six words that need to get pounded into the heads of CIOs responsible for cybersecurity as often as possible, they are social engineering, social engineering, and social engineering. That’s how even goliaths that have every resource and security technology available to them still manage to get bested and victimized, from corporate behemoths to federal agencies.

First Assess, Then Test

Comprehensive cyber threat assessments and penetration tests by Global Digital Forensics are designed to look at the entirety of the big cybersecurity picture. On the cyber threat assessment side, GDF takes a look at all those i’s and t’s CIOs love so much, by reviewing and understanding existing policies, procedures and enforcement, looking at any specific regulatory compliance issues a client may face in their particular industry, mapping the digital architecture and addressing the whole scope of it, including the COVID related explosion of problems related BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, understanding the intricacies of the daily data flow, making sure emergency response plans are well designed to be effective and fast, and helping clients recognize and remediate any other issues that may be found.

The Right Way to Really Test Cybersecurity is from a Hacker’s Perspective

On the penetration testing side, GDF assumes the role of a real-world attacker, launching simulated cyber attacks just like the ones they would use. The tests get customized to a client’s unique situation, which can include everything from realistic and advanced spear phishing campaigns, to devious and clever ways we’ve devised to get a “GDF-infected” USB stick inserted into a target network, and much more. We take great pride in the fact that, so far, we have a 100% success rate when it comes to infiltrating a targeted network. And there is nothing more effective than actually showing a CIO, an executive, a manager, or even an employee that we did get by them, here’s how, and here’s how to fix it. It’s also not unusual for us to then get retained to give cyber security awareness seminars for the entire organization afterward, and rest assured, all eyes are forward and paying attention when you successfully phished 60-70-80% or more of the company, or can point out how many were fooled into inserting one of our “infected” USB sticks, effectively compromising the network. Because the truth is, if you can raise that awareness and make it stick, you already won more than half to the battle when it comes beating cyber attacks at the source. Those are just some of the tricks in GDF’s bag, but like today’s hackers, there’s always more things we can dig out of our arsenal to get the job done right for any unique situation and identify any weak links in the chain.

It Just Takes One Misstep for a Disaster to Unfold

If you plug the holes which can lead to that initial intrusion that hackers use as the springboard to start moving sideways across the network, make everyone aware of their responsibilities and understand the ramifications even a single lapse in judgment can have, and show them how to avoid being an unknowing accomplice to a cyber attacker, for both businesses and critical infrastructure alike, everyone will be safer in the long run, including whomever is filling that monumentally important position of Chief Information Officer for an organization in today’s dangerous digital world.

GDF Can Help

*Global Digital Forensics is a recognized industry leader in the fields of computer forensics, cybersecurity and emergency incident response, with years of experience assisting clients in the government, banking, legal, healthcare, education and corporate arenas. For a free consultation with a Global Digital Forensics specialist, call 1-800-868-8189 about tailoring a cost-effective plan which will meet your unique needs, without wasting resources on solutions you simply don’t need. Emergency responders are also standing by 24/7 to handle intrusion and data breach emergencies whenever and wherever they arise. Time is critical if a cyber incident has occurred, so don’t hesitate to call 1-800-868-8189 for immediate help. For more information, visit GDF's cybersecurity page.

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