Published: August 31, 2022 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
Cybersecurity professionals are urging all organizations to step up their cyber defenses in response to the heightened threat in relation to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Researchers warn that in recent months, there has been significant cyber activity in Ukraine. There have been several reports published around the state of the cybersecurity industry, including warnings of skilled workers leaving the profession due to increasing stress levels.
While recognizing these events put pressure on an organization’s systems, processes, and, ultimately, its workforce, it’s increasingly important to important to maintain a strengthened cyber posture.
There is some guidance to help. Some tips include revisiting risk-based decisions to ensure defenses are implemented in an efficient way for the long term, empowering frontline staff to make decisions about prioritization. In addition, it’s good advice to ensure that workloads are spread across individuals and teams and that frontline staff can take breaks to recharge.
Looking after all staff is not only important from an HR perspective, but it also contributes toward a more amenable work environment, as well as security and resilience. It’s expected that in times of political tension and conflict, such as the one the world is experiencing with Russia-Ukraine, heightened cybersecurity may be necessary for some period of time. And it ultimately may decrease, but will unlikely go back to baseline levels. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to maintain a strengthened posture for a sustained period; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Increased workloads for cybersecurity staff over an extended period can affect them and potentially harm their wellbeing, leading to lower productivity, a potential rise in unsafe behaviors, and/or an increase in errors.
Fortunately, there are some mitigation tips:
Start with the basics. Ensure that the basic controls within your organization are in place and functioning correctly. This includes confirming all cloud servers are configured properly.
Take a look at risk-based decisions. These should be revisited to make sure that additional defenses are implemented in an efficient way to make it for the long haul.
Strengthen your long-term cybersecurity strategies. Accelerate any planned actions to harden networks and improve resilience capabilities. This will help to relieve pressure from your workforce over the long-term.
Give staff authority to make decisions. Relieving senior managers from some decisions can help the team be more agile and take some pressure off the team as a whole.
Finally, give the employees and staff breaks and spread out the workloads so no one gets burned out.
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