What is Cybersecurity Debt and how does it impact your business?

Cybersecurity debt is a technical debt, which refers to the unaddressed security liabilities that are accumulated over time in a company’s IT environment, as new systems and technologies are added to it. This term explains the future cost of redesigning a solution that was not properly implemented from the beginning. If a company does not pay off their cybersecurity debt quicky – meaning, if they do not address these security vulnerabilities promptly -, it will become very difficult and costly to repair those issues. This can leave the company with fewer resources to grow and sustain the business.

When companies rushed their Digital Transformation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their main focus was business continuity and productivity. New technologies were adopted to allow the work to become more agile, but cybersecurity was not prioritized. A report published by CyberArk has shown that cybersecurity took a back seat last year in favour of accelerating other business initiatives.

The pandemic has highly contributed for the businesses to be very reactive over the last few years. However, they must now take back a proactive approach to reverse the cyber security debt they’ve accumulated.

Poorly protected credentials are the number one risk for the companies, as attackers usually use them to gain entry to the business systems. One way to increase the security on this aspect is by establishing a zero-trust principle. This approach requires that any person or machine trying to connect with the company’s systems must be verified before they are able to access it. By utilizing a zero-trust principle, businesses can have the added visibility needed in securing their organization, especially in workload security, identity security tools, and data security.

Another principle businesses can adopt is the principle of least privileges. This principle ensure that people or bots only have the minimum level of access required as per their role. Also, a strong password policy that sets the required complexity and frequency of rotation will help to strength the security.