Separating Fact From Fiction: The Importance of Transparency in Cybersecurity
Posted: Sunday, Nov 19

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Separating Fact From Fiction: The Importance of Transparency in Cybersecurity
From KBI

In recent years, the internet has become a breeding ground for toxicity. People are more emboldened online, hiding behind pseudonyms and expressing their more divisive and extreme views. This has resulted in a lack of constructive debate and a prevalence of insults and memes. Social media, which was supposed to be a platform for connection and shaping opinions, has instead led to people doubling down on their own opinions and attacking those who dare to disagree with them.

The confidence and comfort that people feel online make them more willing to be vociferous in expressing their views. This adds fuel to the fire and makes it more difficult for people to engage in civil discourse or be open to opposing viewpoints. It creates an environment where people are more interested in being “right” rather than finding common ground or working towards solutions.

However, the implications of this toxic online environment go beyond just hurt feelings and heated arguments. Cybersecurity is also a major issue that is affected by this phenomenon. Organisations that are breached often struggle with the way that social media has made it difficult to control the narrative around the incident. Withholding information or being unclear about what has happened can lead to people making up their own stories about the breach, which can be damaging to the organisation’s reputation.

Be Transparent to Look Good

The importance of being transparent and open about cybersecurity incidents cannot be overstated. Companies that have been open and transparent tend to come out the best, as opposed to those who try to hide or downplay the breach. Sharing the necessary information in a timely manner can also help other organisations protect their systems against similar attacks.

The issue of cyber attacks is not just limited to computer viruses and IT systems. Misinformation and propaganda spread through social media has swayed election results and affected societies’ operations. Cybersecurity is fundamental to our way of life and our safety. Therefore, we need to acknowledge that cybersecurity is broader and wider than what we initially thought it to be.

A balanced view of breaches is necessary to avoid vilifying organisations and instead focus on preventing future attacks. It’s important to consider if reasonable measures were taken to protect data and to report on the economic impact and scale of the breach. Transparency is key in sharing information about cyber attacks to improve the collective defence of the industry. Organisations should share what they know about a breach and its tactics so that others can learn from it and protect themselves.

What Can We Do

There are several examples of how openness and transparency have benefited organisations in case of a breach. For instance, the Co-Founder of the “No More Ransom” initiative, which collaborates with law enforcement to disrupt ransomware operations, shared how they launched with seven free decryptors in 2016 but now have over 160 with over 150 partners involved. Similarly, a case in the Asia Pacific region saw threat actors inside a network for years, and the initial reaction of the company was to kick them out.

Raj Samani, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientist from Rapid7 proposed in a recent interview on KBKast, that leaving the threat actors inside the network to monitor their actions and find more backdoors before closing everything on a planned “Strike Day.” The company agreed to the plan, and even though it was a painful decision, it proved to be highly beneficial.

“The biggest problem we have, which is we truly suffer from a lack of transparency in as much as when we think about these breaches, invariably the only thing that we seem to focus on is who is at fault and who was behind it. And yet I would argue that those are probably well, I’d say those are probably two of the least pieces of most relevant information.”

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The challenge is that in some cases, organisations may not even be aware of the breach, but the story has already broken and received a lot of attention. This can be devastating for the company and highlights the need for a proactive approach to cybersecurity measures.

In Conclusion

We need to acknowledge that everyone is at risk of being breached and that we must take reasonable measures to protect our data. The talent in cybersecurity in some regions, such as Australia, is considered poor by some. Therefore, it’s important to manage expectations from regulators, consumers, and customers during a breach and communicate updates effectively.

Transparency and openness are vital components of cybersecurity and must be given their due attention. Transparency can help make the playbook of threat actors accessible to all organisations, thereby reducing the likelihood of further breaches. The implications of cyber attacks are not limited to just data protection, but also affect public opinion, elections, and societies’ operations. We must acknowledge that cybersecurity is broader and wider than what we initially thought and take measures to protect ourselves. Ultimately, cybersecurity is essential to our way of life, and its importance cannot be overemphasised.

The Production Team
The KBI Production Team is a staff of specialist technology professionals with a detailed understanding across much of cybersecurity and emerging technology. With many decades of collective industry experience, as well as expertise in marketing & communications, we bring news and analysis of the cybersecurity industry.
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