There is a new disease out there I call Cyber Denial Syndrome. It has very distinct characteristics. It has symptoms; it can have a prognosis and a cure just like any other disease. Also like other diseases, it can have negative consequences, sometimes even resulting in extreme cases with personal injury or fatality. Cyber Denial Syndrome or CDS as I like to call it for brevity is spreading just like a disease can. It is passed from company to company person to person computer to computer literally by the thousands.
CDS does not have a particular host that it likes to occupy but there are particular conditions which make Cyber Denial Syndrome grow more than others. Some of the cases can be found in the US some can be found in other countries. There seems to be no discrimination between big companies or small companies, educated people or common folk. Just like any biological disease, it is all around us all of the time. It is up to us to keep ourselves protected from it.
How Does It Grow
To make the fertile ground for Cyber Denial Syndrome, you need a few ingredients. First, you need an environment of cyber-crime incidents. Second, you will normally have an organization that is very confident in its operations maybe even arrogant. Moreover, they are busy with their day to day workings, their competition, their own sales numbers. At the same time, they are not so focused on the threat landscape around them.
Finally and more importantly they have the symptom of invincibility about them. They believe that “it will not happen to me.” This is the fatal flaw of the perfect cyber-crime candidate and an organization that suffers from CDS. The thought that an organization cannot be hacked is fatal. This is the primary element of CDS.
What Is The Cure
The cure for Cyber Denial Syndrome is very well known. It is not so complicated; it does not even deal that much with technology. However, technology is one of the tools used to help it. But keep in mind that relying on technology to protect you from cyber-attack is a particularly insidious form of CDS. CDS is controlled and prevented by common sense, awareness, education, staying up to date, and constant vigilance.
CDS leads to cyber-crime and uncontrolled threats that attack your company in the most critical times and leaves you bewildered, a lot poorer, and ultimately a victim. So first you need to be aware of your surroundings and your threat landscape all of the time.
Routine security audits, active security scanning, metering, monitoring, and reporting. You need to have your entire populace educated on CDS and keep them from falling into its trap of complacency. You need to keep your people up to date as well as your security team, and your internal policies and procedures. Since these procedures and policies will be the inoculation that determines your way forward and keeps you on the path to safety.
And most importantly you as the leader of your organization need to stay vigilant, to know that CDS is always around the corner. And your leadership will keep it at bay.