For those of you who know Brett Gallant, the Founder of Adaptive Office Solutions, you probably know that he has countless interests, with family, faith, the Rotary Club, BPSA Traditional Scouting, and, of course, cyber security topping the list.
All of the things that are meaningful to Brett have several things in common, but for the purpose of today’s article, we’ll focus on one key element that benefits them all… being prepared.
As Lord Baden-Powell (the founder of BPSA) said, “A scout must prepare himself by thinking about and practicing how to act during accidents or emergencies so that (s)he is never taken by surprise.”
The word “never” might be a bit elusive. There was a guy named Arthur John Priest, who was an English fireman and stoker who was notable for surviving four ship sinkings, including the Titanic, Alcantara, Britannic, and the SS Donegal. Due to these incidents, Priest gained the moniker “the unsinkable stoker.”
The key word there is “survived.” He most likely survived because he was prepared. One could also wager that he was a tad surprised each time.
In a different part of the world, Roy Sullivan was an American park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia who was struck by lightning 7 times. That just goes to show you that the dangers of being outside most of the time can be a bit shocking.
But, we digress. The point is, thinking that an accident, emergency, or any other unplanned event will never happen is naive at the least and wildly irresponsible at the worst.
For example, People who are raising children are constantly taken off guard by the miraculous or awful things that can happen to a child in a day, a week, a month, and a year. And each child is unique, delivering their own challenges or opportunities for wonder. But, as a friend once said, “When you become a parent, you don’t have the luxury of going insane.”
Meaning, parents can’t just check out when the going gets tough. We have to get smarter, stronger, and better prepared to help our children through tough times while also celebrating every milestone or victory when things are going even better than we ever could have hoped for.
In Canada, we all know that being prepared during the winter is essential to our survival. Before a storm, most of us stock the pantry, make sure the generators are working, and load our cars with emergency kits.
Why is it, then, that most businesses don’t prepare for cyber attacks?
Did you know that there was a 424% increase in new small business cyber breaches last year? That’s five times higher than in 2021. And nearly half of those attacks were on small businesses. The reason? Small businesses are easier to breach than large ones because they don’t take the necessary precautions to prepare for, or respond to, cyber-attacks.
That type of negligence is exactly what cybercriminals are counting on.
The truth is, it isn’t a matter of “if” a cyber attack will happen to your business. Now it’s a matter of when and how often they will happen.
At BPSA Traditional Scouting, we teach children – beginning as early as the age of 5 – how to meet outdoor challenges that may include extreme weather, difficult trails, hiking, and dealing with nature’s unexpected circumstances.
Knowing the hazards of the great outdoors, it is our mission to instill outdoor “surthrival” skills to allow children to enjoy the best that nature has to offer and, more importantly, to prepare them for the worst things that can happen in nature.
Do we want the children to get lost in the woods, get thrown out of a canoe during a thunderstorm, suffer an injury when hiking, have no shelter in a snowstorm, or encounter a bear along a trail? Of course not!
But we know those things can happen. That’s why we prepare them for a multitude of possible challenges and teach them how to overcome them using an array of practiced skills.
Being prepared – whether in traditional scouting or cyber security – means using a multi-layered approach to education. If, for example, you teach a child how to build a fire but neglect to show them how to cook over it and put out the flames, they’ll go hungry and start a forest fire.
The same is true for cyber security. Most employees are not IT folks, much less cyber experts. They might work in finance, healthcare, management, etc., so cyber security is as foreign to most employees as dropping a child in the woods without teaching them how to read a map. You can’t expect either one to instinctively know what to do.
That being said, traditional scouting – like cyber security – isn’t a single day of training; it’s a lifetime of education. Like nature, the cyber landscape is constantly changing, and we must constantly adapt in order to navigate them both successfully.
How Being Prepared Can Empower Individuals and Businesses
In the context of traditional scouting, being prepared is one of the core principles that scouts adhere to. Here’s why it’s important:
Safety: Scouting activities often involve outdoor adventures, camping, hiking, and other potentially risky situations. Being prepared with the necessary skills, knowledge, and equipment can help scouts stay safe and handle emergencies effectively.
Self-reliance: Scouting encourages self-reliance and the development of practical skills. Being prepared means knowing how to navigate terrain, build a fire, administer first aid, and handle various outdoor challenges. By being prepared, scouts can become more independent and capable individuals.
Planning and organization: Scouting activities often require careful planning and organization. Being prepared involves understanding the goals and requirements of an activity, gathering the necessary resources and equipment, and having a plan in place to execute tasks efficiently.
Problem-solving: Scouts are taught problem-solving skills and how to think on their feet. Being prepared allows scouts to anticipate potential challenges or obstacles and develop contingency plans. This mindset enables them to adapt to unexpected situations and find creative solutions.
Physical Benefits: As scouting youth hike, paddle, climb, bike, or ride, their muscles become toned, and their aerobic capacity increases. When they work as a Six or Patrol to plan menus for their outings, they learn to purchase cost-effective ingredients to prepare flavourful and nutritious meals.
Community Benefits: Service to others and good community is learned through such outdoor activities as conservation projects, collecting food, building trails, and shelters, and conducting community service projects that promote healthy living. Through helping other people, scouting youth learn to appreciate how they can share their blessings with those in need. By giving service to benefit others, scouting youth gain a sense of personal satisfaction.
In the field of cybersecurity, being prepared is crucial due to the evolving nature of cyber threats and attacks. Here’s why preparedness matters:
Proactive defense: Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and attackers are continuously discovering new vulnerabilities. Being prepared involves proactive defense measures such as implementing strong security practices, regularly updating software and systems, and educating users about potential risks. By being prepared, organizations can better defend themselves against cyber attacks.
Incident response: Despite the best preventive measures, cyber incidents can still occur. Being prepared means having an incident response plan in place. This includes establishing protocols, defining roles and responsibilities, and rehearsing scenarios to effectively respond to security incidents. Preparedness can help minimize the impact of an incident and reduce downtime.
Risk mitigation: Cybersecurity preparedness involves assessing and mitigating risks. This includes conducting vulnerability assessments, identifying potential weaknesses, and implementing controls and safeguards. By understanding the risks and being prepared, organizations can minimize the likelihood and impact of cyber threats.
Compliance and regulations: Many industries have specific cybersecurity regulations and compliance requirements. Being prepared means ensuring compliance with these standards, which can involve implementing specific security controls, maintaining audit trails, and regularly reviewing and updating security practices.
The “Soft” Benefits of Being Cyber Prepared…
Business Continuity: Cybersecurity preparedness ensures that businesses can maintain their operations even in the face of cyber incidents. By having an incident response plan and appropriate backup and recovery mechanisms in place, organizations can minimize downtime and quickly resume normal operations. This promotes business continuity and protects revenue streams.
Reputation and Trust: A cyber incident can significantly damage a company’s reputation and erode customer trust. Being cyber-prepared allows businesses to demonstrate their commitment to protecting customer data and sensitive information. By implementing robust security measures and responding effectively to incidents, organizations can safeguard their reputation and maintain trust with their customers, partners, and stakeholders.
Competitive Advantage: In today’s digital landscape, customers should prioritize cybersecurity when choosing products or services. Being cyber-prepared can provide a competitive advantage by demonstrating a higher level of security and trustworthiness compared to competitors. Businesses that prioritize cybersecurity and invest in preparedness measures are more likely to attract and retain customers who value data protection.
Cost Savings: Investing in cybersecurity preparedness can result in long-term cost savings. By implementing preventive measures, organizations can reduce the likelihood and impact of cyber attacks, thereby avoiding costly breaches and their associated financial implications. Additionally, having robust incident response plans can minimize the costs associated with incident investigation, recovery, and potential legal or regulatory consequences.
Business Expansion and Partnerships: Being cyber-prepared can facilitate business expansion and partnerships. Organizations with strong cybersecurity postures are often viewed as reliable and trustworthy partners. When seeking collaborations or entering new markets, having a reputation for robust cybersecurity can open doors to potential opportunities and partnerships.
Being prepared is essential in both traditional scouting and cybersecurity, empowering individuals and businesses in various ways.
In traditional scouting, being prepared ensures the safety of scouts during outdoor adventures, fostering self-reliance, planning, and problem-solving skills. It allows scouts to navigate challenges, develop contingency plans, and adapt to unexpected situations. Preparedness promotes physical fitness, community engagement, and a sense of personal satisfaction through service to others.
In the field of cybersecurity, being prepared is crucial due to the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats. Proactive defense measures, such as strong security practices, regular updates, and user education, enable organizations to better defend against attacks. Incident response plans minimize the impact of cyber incidents and reduce downtime. Risk mitigation efforts, including vulnerability assessments and controls implementation, help organizations minimize the likelihood and impact of cyber threats. Compliance with regulations ensures legal and regulatory obligations are met.
Being cyber-prepared also offers “soft” benefits. It ensures business continuity by allowing organizations to maintain operations during cyber incidents. It protects reputation and fosters trust among customers, partners, and stakeholders. Cybersecurity preparedness becomes a competitive advantage, attracting customers who value data protection. Cost savings are achieved by avoiding costly breaches and efficiently responding to incidents. Finally, being prepared facilitates business expansion and partnerships, as organizations with robust cybersecurity postures are seen as reliable and trustworthy.
In both traditional scouting and cybersecurity, being prepared is a lifelong journey. Just as scouts continually develop skills and adapt to outdoor challenges, cybersecurity professionals must constantly adapt to the evolving cyber landscape. By prioritizing preparedness, individuals and businesses can navigate uncertainties, overcome obstacles, and thrive in their respective domains.
At Adaptive Office Solutions, cybersecurity is our specialty. We keep cybercrimes at bay by using analysis, forensics, and reverse engineering to prevent malware attempts and patch vulnerability issues. By making an investment in multilayered cybersecurity, you can leverage our expertise to boost your defenses, mitigate risks, and protect your data with next-gen IT security solutions.
Every single device that connects to the internet poses a cyber security threat, including that innocent-looking smartwatch you’re wearing. Adaptive’s wide range of experience and certifications fills the gaps in your business’s IT infrastructure and dramatically increases the effectiveness of your cybersecurity posture.
Using our proactive cybersecurity management, cutting-edge network security tools, and comprehensive business IT solutions, you can lower your costs through systems that are running at their prime, creating greater efficiency and preventing data loss and costly downtime. With Adaptive Office Solutions by your side, we’ll help you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity so you can achieve business success without worrying about online threats.