Asier Ortiz, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lantek
Data which are stored on Cloud Computing, a group of servers outside the company accessed via the Internet. However…, without own control of this storage and given that the information moves within a virtual environment, what happens to security? How can confidentiality be guaranteed and access to data be protected from cyberattacks?
In the digital ecosystem we inhabit, hackers operate unimpeded and are able to infect networks and computers on a worldwide scale, as occurred some months ago with the WannaCry virus which infected the IT systems in companies and organizations, some well known, in over one hundred countries.
I admit that at times, from the perspective of SMEs, these attacks are viewed from a distance, as if it were only a problem for big business, due to the mistaken belief that as small and medium-sized enterprises we don’t have sensitive information of interest to cyberterrorists. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are many reports which debunk this argument. One, by IBM, warns that more than half of security breaches do not occur exactly due to cyberattacks, but that it’s we who, from within the organization, do not execute our security tasks properly. As from taking basic precautions such as not using simple logins, not adjusting firewalls or installing flat networks to save on costs, to more prudent measures such as working in an orchestrated way, not only on a human level, but also on a devices and processes level, right through to the use of groundbreaking innovations such as Blockchain. Indeed, above and beyond virtual currencies, this technology is being used to guarantee the security of shared networks whether internal or external, with providers or partners. And it is already proving to be a highly effective weapon against cyberattacks as early as from encryption, where access to them is very difficult.
There is another study by ZeedSecurity giving cause for concern, the results of which were published two years ago, although nothing would appear to indicate that the figure has changed substantially. It refers to the fact that 70% of cyberattacks are directed at SMEs, therefore proving our digital vulnerability and the absence of investment in infrastructures for scrutinizing our IT systems.
It’s hardly surprising. As small and medium-sized enterprises we represent more than 99% of Spain’s business fabric contributing no less than 65% of the country’s wealth. It’s true that due to our size a cyberattack doesn’t get as much attention as one that could be suffered by large enterprises. However..., let’s think back, who hasn’t been infected by some kind of virus, with a greater or lesser impact, however which has, without doubt, forced us to interrupt our tasks or operations with economic consequences and, in the worst cases, affecting our reputation.
In light of this information, it’s obvious that the digital transformation does not just involve fitting sensors, uploading data to the cloud and providing them with intelligence, however also, and on the same level, making us capable of responding to this type of attacks.
As such, cybersecurity has to be on our list of priorities, particularly when, within three years more than 20 billion things will be connected to the digital ecosystem, according to Gartner and when, during this Fourth Revolution, industrial data are our raw materials, what make us grow and find new business opportunities. We have to protect them.