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How do I minimize the consequences of cyber espionage

Cyber espionage is not a problem only the federal government deals with. Companies that rely on the Internet, both public and private, are being targeted as well.

How do I minimize the consequences of cyber espionage

Cyber attackers are becoming more skilled at stealing massive amounts of data over long periods of time, and many businesses are unaware of a breach in their computer networks until the damage is done. Cyber espionage sophistication and attacks are expected to increase; therefore, U.S. companies need to begin looking at their cyber security more in-depth.

Below steps can stop some intrusions or at least help to detect them more rapidly and minimize damage:

  • Avoid complacency; don’t think it can’t happen to your company.
  • Assume your network has already been penetrated and change strategy from reactive to proactive.
  • Cyber security has to be dealt with strategically at senior management levels.
  • Get rid of the silo approach; security is a business issue as well as an IT concern.
  • Develop measures for centrally controlling and monitoring what devices can be attached to corporate networks and what data can be stored on them.
  • Separate perimeter from the core; a sound perimeter defense alone is not adequate to protect against penetration.
  • Conduct regular penetration testing of company infrastructure and third-party shared network systems.
  • Use two-factor ID or long passphrases.
  • Layer security and segment data.
  • Identify and isolate the “crown jewels” and implement compartmentalized access procedures.
  • Assign threat focus areas. Don’t get distracted by the small, unsophisticated attacks. Filter them out and concentrate on the more serious ones.
  • Be more open. Disclose the breach to partners first, then the public. The SEC requires public companies to disclose security breaches.
  • Think twice about entering into a joint venture with a Chinese company. The potential for losing IP is significant. Stealing IP is an accepted business practice in China and there are no negative consequences.
  • Be judicious about hiring. Nation-states often recruit their foreign nationals who work for U.S. companies for cyber espionage purposes, appealing to their sense of patriotism.
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