If you were a child growing up in Western culture sometime in this past century, your parents or teachers inevitably read you some version of the fable, The Three Little Pigs.
If you haven’t heard this story (and if so, I’d be curious to know how you missed this touchstone of childhood), the story basically goes like this: there are three pigs and they each set out to build their own home out of various materials before they end up being attacked by a hungry wolf. One builds a house out of straw, one out of sticks, and one out of bricks. The first two choose their materials because they’re easy to build with and they’re lazy pigs. The brick house, however, takes care and work to complete, and the lazy pigs play and taunt the third pig as he toils on his brick house.
After the houses are complete, they get attacked by a hungry wolf. The wolf succeeds in blowing down the straw and stick houses and eats the unfortunate pig inhabitants. The brick house, however, manages to withstand the huffing and puffing. Not one to give up, the wolf tries to enter the house via the chimney, but the remaining pig is smart and resourceful. He waits inside with a cauldron of boiling water in the hearth, where the wolf falls in and meets his demise.
You’re probably wondering to yourself why I forced you to revisit a childhood story. Well, there’s a lesson to draw out of it.
Making Your Cybersecurity Strategy a Brick House
When it comes to your cybersecurity, you’re faced with a decision of what materials you want to use and how much effort you want to invest in in building your “house”. A lack of investment in time and tools gives you a straw house – it’s barely going to withstand attacks from external forces.
The pig in the brick house survives because of the near-impenetrable nature of his building. The wolf does, however, discover a vulnerability: the chimney. Fortunately, the hardworking and clever pig is aware of this and prevents the wolf from breaching his house.
Your cybersecurity strategy ideally will be like the brick house. It’s sturdy and can’t be easily knocked over, but nothing comes without a certain level of weakness or vulnerable spots. That’s why we also recommend you have the same vigilant attitude as the pig – knowing there might be vulnerabilities and having a plan should a breach occur.
The roof, the brick, the mortar, the windows and door – are they all of good quality to protect you from the elements or nefarious wolves? Do they require a lot of maintenance so they can continue doing their jobs? Is there a chance your door is rotting and falling off its hinge? What’s your plan if a wolf or bad guy breaks in via the chimney or a window?
Do you have DNS filtering, antivirus, a firewall and spam filtering you know you can rely on to keep the bad stuff out? Do you have monitoring and policies in plan should your network get breached, or malware gets in? If the answer is no to any of these, it’s time to get to building!