How does the end user see cybersecurity threats?

How does the end user see cybersecurity threats?
Cybersecurity continues to be a single major threat in the physical security realm. With an increasing number of malware attacks, hacking attempts and distributed denial of services among others, end users are forced to remain anxious about data breaches.

In a recent survey of 175 end users conducted by Axis Communications along with its partner Genetec, 87 percent said that cybersecurity remains a major concern for them. However, only 15 percent felt that they had adequate measures to thwart a cyberattack. Significantly though, 76 percent of those surveyed were not bothered about internal threats that could lead to data breach. They were more bothered about the physical protection of assets.

Speaking about this in a recent blog post, Joe Danielson, Marketing Manager for Global Enterprise Solutions at Axis Communications indicated that these findings weren’t in line with certain other global reports.

“This last insight, however, is in stark contrast with international research findings, which identify accidental or deliberate human mistakes, poorly configured systems, and poorly maintained systems as the most common weak points,” Danielson said. “The IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2018, for example, attributes to human error two-thirds of compromised records. This is backed up further by earlier IBM research findings, which attribute more than 95 percent of all successful breaches to these internal factors.”

Misconceptions about old technology

Another interesting finding from the survey was that about 60 percent of the respondents believed that legacy systems were the major reason for cybersecurity concerns. While older systems do pose a threat, that new technologies are not vulnerable to cyber threats is a misconception. To be fair, no solution is 100 percent fool-proof.

“This suggests a common misconception: that product security is the only way to mitigate vulnerabilities and threats,” Danielson said. “On the contrary, companies need to manage cyber risks across many dimensions, both human and machine-to-machine. That’s because cybersecurity is a shared responsibility spanning users, maintainers, installers, manufacturers, consultants and more.”

Elaborating on potential measures to be taken to handle this matter, Danielson said that customers need to put in place clear policies and procedures that ensure the right practices are followed every day.

“Which devices and systems exist? Who is responsible for them? When and how to maintain them?” Danielson said, “The focal points are then found in designing, deploying and maintaining cybersecure systems. Typically, this means consultants need to recommend the right cybersecurity features and properties over the system’s lifespan. Those responsible for deploying and maintaining a system are typically integrators, installers or specialist consultants; they need reliable processes of sourcing and deploying video surveillance systems, devices, and components — as well as for maintaining all related security systems.”

How should manufacturers respond?

The findings of this survey shed fresh light on what manufacturers should be focusing on in order to help end customers remain protected. Best cybersecurity practices should be applied in the design, development and testing phase of products. This will help minimize the risks due to flaws. Clear instructions should be given to customers on the best ways to remain protected. They should also be given device management tools that would help in security. Finally, when a vulnerability is detected, partners and customers should be immediately informed.

“Many survey respondents seem to lack a holistic approach for managing all the various cyber threats they can encounter,” Danielson said. “Meanwhile, some are seemingly influenced by the latest cyber attack headlines. However, most newspapers and news outlets focus on sophisticated attacks, which of course use compelling headlines that help sell subscriptions. Little space is given to the most common risks: deliberate or accidental misuse of the system, poorly configured systems and poorly maintained systems.”

In short ensuring cybersecurity is a holistic process that includes working closely with the experts and providing guidance on the best practices to users. With the right approach, the risks can be minimized to a great extent.
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