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  • Writer's pictureAmir Hoshia

Developing a Digital Service for SMEs to Identify and mitigate Cyber Threats  


Cyber attacks that lead to data breaches and security incidents have been increasing across all sectors of the economy. For organizations today, the question is not if an attack will happen, but when. Privacy regulations exist to protect the personal information of every citizen held by organizations exposed to cyber threats.


Recent events highlight the need to strengthen protection, especially among small and medium businesses that don't always emphasize implementing robust information security systems.


The Client


The National Cyber Directorate in collaboration with the Privacy Protection Authority.


The Challenge


For smaller organizations, the major threat from a cyber incident is the potential damage to the business and its ability to continue operating without economic and reputational harm. Smaller organizations often lack deep understanding, professional expertise, or ability to properly assess the importance of protecting sensitive citizen data. As a result, they frequently underinvest in data protection.


Through conversations with business owners and leaders, we learned that despite legal requirements, many organizations aren't always aware of them. Those that are aware struggle to prioritize and implement the complex required adjustments over the seemingly more urgent day-to-day needs of running a small business. 


Additionally, organizations have difficulty gauging their level of risk exposure and understanding how to properly manage information security processes. It always seems overly complex and daunting. In part, they lack practical guidance connected to their business realities - what's important to secure and how, what operating procedures to follow day-to-day, what actions to take during an incident, and who to consult with.


Cybersecurity requires ongoing management infrastructure to maintain systems, react to, and defend against new threats in real-time. Small businesses, non-profits, and similar organizations typically don't employ dedicated cybersecurity professionals or even have basic tech support. They also have limited organizational and financial resources to dedicate, despite being the most exposed and impacted.


Even when organizations are convinced they have proper security processes, sometimes struggle to ask the right questions, professionally audit those responsible for security, and identify vulnerabilities requiring remediation.


Most of all, they struggle to properly identify and respond swiftly to cyber incidents as they occur, resulting in greater damage than anticipated.


While regulations require reporting incidents to authorities and enabling assistance, it's often unclear when reporting is mandated. Some organizations also hesitate to involve government entities, thus practically preventing them from receiving available support.


The Solution


A digital service that guides and drives small and medium organizations to take effective action when establishing cybersecurity measures, managing them ongoing, and assisting the business during cyber incidents.


The new guidance process of the SME encompasses:

Building Trust and Increasing Access to Critical Information

  • Anonymous access to organized, practical professional information without registration

  • An organizational asset mapping simulation to help users better understand their specific security needs


Enabling Ongoing Risk Identification

  • Cataloging an organization's digital assets, with dashboards, updates, and risk assessments (websites, databases, etc.), for registered users 

  • Diagnostics of security controls with an overall security posture and risk overview


Driving Effective Incident Response and Recovery Actions


  • Clear, actionable guidance on addressing issues and meeting legal requirements

  • Alerts for severe incidents with easy reporting and access to Authority assistance

  • Access to professional information and an emergency assistance button without registration


Summary


The new service offers a novel approach transforming an enforcement authority into a partner providing expertise to proactively assist and guide organizations. It emphasizes removing hesitation to approach an enforcement body and fosters a collaborative relationship addressing the real cyber threat challenge.









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