Posted by: danielrashke | October 25, 2017

Cybersecurity: It’s Everyone’s Concern

I cannot overly stress the importance of protecting your online information, especially considering all that has been in the news lately—from Russia hacking election sites to the Equifax cybersecurity incident. TASC is serious about meeting the challenge, and recently hosted a cybersecurity forum in Washington, DC. The discussion emphasized two main points: the convergence of cybersecurity and privacy, and how to respond when attacks happen.

Both elements must be approached together, and all businesses must take this risk seriously. It’s absolutely mandatory that you create a crisis management plan. You need a plan that’s intact, one that’s reviewed, updated, and put into real-life practice regularly. And because it’s a plan, you must work hard to develop components before you face a situation. Have it ready, on the shelf, and tested; it will save you valuable time and effort in the long-run. And it might save your business as well!

At TASC, this all ties back to our strategy. When it comes to security and privacy, what’s the number one concern that comes to me? Naturally, it’s the physical and mental well-being of people in our care. What follows are our customers’ funds and data, followed by TASC’s funds and data (our trade secrets).

TASC sponsored this forum because we wanted to share advice that we’ve acquired from the experts themselves. One best practice, as stated by Jason Maloni, a seasoned crisis communications professional, is to ask yourself “Is this something we really need?”

At TASC, we constantly ask ourselves that question when touching any level of data. Whether it is internal data, customer data, or interaction with vendors…  Is the information/data in our possession absolutely necessary to complete the objective? If we have anything beyond that, it is too much. So we work hard to grab what we need and nothing more, to capture the necessary information only. Beyond that, we must ask “What level of privacy/security does it need?”

Like TASC, you should wrap that captured, single element of private data that you have with every effort you can to make it secure. Then, you must put yourself in the very best possible position, ready for when a breach threatens. They come in many shapes and forms, and not all breaches involve damaging your infrastructure. It can be as simple as a phishing email designed to collect contact information, or as complex as ransomware that takes your whole system hostage and won’t let it go until you pay. So be on the offense, be prepared with your security, and have your plan ready to go.

Fortunately, we are far down the cybersecurity road here at TASC. We are in a good place. It all comes down to three things: privacy, security, response. I advise that you count on experienced, professional assistance to achieve the level of the crisis management that you need. This should consist of legal representation, reputation management (strategic advice), and cybersecurity (technical security).

As the police sergeant on the 1980s Hill Street Blues television program used to say: Let’s be safe out there!


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