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Why Cyber-security Needs Creative Thinkers

Cyber-security and threat detection is a complex and constantly evolving field that demands diverse skills and approaches. With World Password Day on the 4th of May 2023, it seems only right that we address a huge underlying problem, often caused by ineffective passwords getting hacked.

The traditional approach to cyber-security has predominantly been to strengthen businesses’ cyber posture and develop more sophisticated tools to detect and respond to threats, which we know are growing in sophistication by the day. 

While these efforts are essential, they are not enough on their own. The field of cyber-security needs creative thinkers who can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table. There is a huge misconception that cyber-security, and other similar tech-led fields, require analytical thinkers that can calculate, equate, and understand complex algorithms and code without much difficulty. However, if recent trends are anything to go by, the reality is quite the opposite.

While creativity is a word not often raised in conversations about cyber-security, good analysts, penetration testers, programmers, software developers and other specialists would be best served to have creativity as a skill in their repertoires. If businesses can build teams of people that can strategically analyse and contain threats while thinking outside the box and trying to get inside the minds of perpetrators, it might just improve their overall cyber-security position.

How creative minds can improve cyber readiness

Different perspectives

Creative thinkers have a unique ability to see problems from different angles and find solutions that others might overlook. In cyber-security, this is particularly important because digital threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. 

Threat actors may not just try to exploit businesses through ransomware or malware, they may try strategic DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks, or social engineering tactics to find vulnerabilities. These are becoming increasingly difficult to spot for the average analyst. To stay ahead of these threats, cyber-security professionals need to be able to think creatively about how to protect their systems and data.

Proactive approaches

Rather than simply reacting to threats once detected, creative minds can take a more proactive approach and anticipate new threats before they emerge. By spotting patterns and trends in data and performance across an organisation’s estate, anomalies and false positives can be weeded out with greater ease, making it ultimately easier to prevent a cyber-attack, and thus more difficult for the perpetrator to go undetected. 

Strategic development

Another important role that creative thinkers can play in cyber-security is in developing new tools and techniques to defend against threats. The cyber-security industry is in dire need of skilled workers, as evidenced by the growing skills shortage, but businesses can counteract this problem for themselves if they upskill creative thinkers to find new and innovative approaches for threat detection and trend spotting. 

While they may not necessarily always be able to develop or program the tools or solutions a business needs, creative thinkers can at least ascertain the reasons why the tools are necessary, and rethink approaches that can make a company’s infrastructure inherently more robust.

Training and Awareness

Most cyber-attacks occur because of human error, whether it’s a click on a malicious – and seemingly innocuous – link or succumbing to password hacks because of not strengthening them as required. However, creative thinkers can be instrumental in developing helpful training and awareness initiatives for employees to improve their cyber awareness. By developing engaging and educational content, cyber professionals can work more collaboratively to reduce the risk of human error and exploitation by threat actors.

Phishing Tackle provides a plethora of enterprise-level cyber-security awareness training programmes, and you can arrange a free demo today. This training is automated and scalable for your business’s unique requirements, allowing your teams to simulate attacks like phishing, smishing, and other threat activities, all of which are designed to help improve your team’s cyber threat readiness.

Education of the public

Creative thinkers can also help to raise awareness of threats and dangers to the general public. Everybody, regardless of their field of work or expertise, has a role to play in safeguarding people’s sensitive data, and severe cyber-attacks can have devastating reputational and financial consequences if businesses are not careful. 

Creative minds can find different ways to educate and engage more people about the real-world risks of poor and ineffective cyber-security, through a mixture of engaging video content, infographics, blogs, articles, case studies, and social media content, which doesn’t always come naturally for some with technology or analysis backgrounds. In turn, this will help to create an improved culture of cyber threat awareness inside – and outside – the company, which will help to prevent future attacks.

Bridging cross-organisational gaps

Speaking of collaboration, cyber-security often requires alignment and cohesion across many organisations and geographies. Creative thinkers can help ‌foster and improve relationships between companies through open dialogue and communication. Many organisations fail to realise the true risk and estimated cost of a cyber-attack, and many struggle to understand what they need to do to prevent such attacks. Creative thinkers can help bridge that gap to ensure all sensitive data is safeguarded, in their employers’ organisations as well as those of partners, suppliers, investors and clients. 

Demonstrating the value of cyber-security

It can be challenging to quantify the value of cyber threat prevention measures. Some executives and decision-makers of companies need convincing that an investment in properly managed threat detection and response solutions is needed, and it’s even harder when there is no evidence that a company is at risk. 

Creative minds can play an important role by educating important stakeholders in unique ways and demonstrating the value of proper threat detection to justify an investment.

In conclusion, organisations are only as strong as their biggest vulnerabilities or weaknesses. If they can approach cyber-security with creativity and logic in mind, not only will they be strengthening their infrastructure, but they will be taking big steps in creating a more knowledgeable and prepared team.  Creative thinkers are vital for helping companies anticipate new threats, develop new tools, train and educate employees, and build partnerships. In a constantly-changing and evolving field like security, this is more important than ever.

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