Fighting Cybercrime: The 3 A's Of Readiness

Anja Reschke

castle-538722_1280Every organization is at risk of a cyber attack. Even if you think your company hasn’t been targeted yet, security has likely already been breached in some way.

Cyber threats aren’t going away. In fact, they are going to multiply with the proliferation of connected devices, products, and people as the Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to grow.

So how can you get ahead of cybercrime?

Take action immediately. Cybercrime is a daily threat, and the longer you wait, the greater the risk.

A recent report by Ernst & Young (EY) says organizations need a solid foundation of cybersecurity. The report, Get ahead of cybercrime: EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2014, says companies generally go through three stages of cybersecurity readiness, and each stage has a different focus. The study refers to these stages as the “three A’s”.

The 3 A’s of cybersecurity

1. Activate

If you don’t have cybercrime systems in place, activate cybersecurity measures ASAP to provide basic defense against cyber attacks.

  • At this stage, cybersecurity is viewed as a cost that should be limited as much as possible
  • This is a static approach aimed at allowing the company to carry out its day-to-day business securely
  • This stage is focused on safeguarding the current environment based on known risks from prior experience
  • Bolt-on cybersecurity measures are added on to business processes, without being integrated into the business

2. Adapt

Cyber threats constantly change, so you need to have the ability to adapt your information security measures or they will become less and less effective as cybercrimes become more sophisticated.

  • This is a dynamic approach, where the company’s cybersecurity is flexible, agile, and under constant revision to better protect the business
  • This stage is focused on the changing environment and being ready to react to changes in the business and the cyber threat landscape
  • Built-in cybersecurity measures are integrated and considered in everything the organization does

3. Anticipate

At this stage, organizations anticipate cyber attacks and are capable of responding quickly and appropriately. They have developed tactics to detect and detract potential cyber attacks, and they regularly rehearse responses to incident scenarios. They have a mature cyber threat intelligence capability.

  • Leaders accept cyber threats and risks as a core business issue, and cybersecurity capabilities are part of dynamic business decisions
  • Organizations at this stage take a proactive approach, with incident and crisis response mechanisms that rigorously test the organization’s capabilities
  • This stage is focused on the future environment, so security measures are in a cycle of continual assessment and improvement
  • Cybersecurity measures are built beyond expectations to protect the company’s most valuable assets (its “crown jewels”), and the organization understands the impact of security breaches

These days, it’s not a question of if, but when a cyber attack will happen. Are you prepared to be the next target?

For more information about cyber security and digital transformation, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Cybersecurity isn’t just the CIO’s domain anymore. Find out today’s #1 cybercrime fighter.

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This information was based on EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2014 “Get ahead of cybercrime”. Ernst & Young Copyright ©2014


About Anja Reschke

Anja Reschke is the Senior Director of Strategic Ecosystem Marketing at SAP. She is responsible for the development of joint strategic marketing plans, programs, and activities, with global strategic services and technology partners.