Suspicious texts and emails from your CEO, compromised passwords, obsolete software, everywhere you look, there is an opportunity for a threat actor to sneak into your network. And when sources like the University of Texas report that 94% of enterprises that suffer from catastrophic data loss do not recover, 43% never reopen, and 51% shut down within two years, businesses need to take every safeguard possible to avoid being infiltrated.
So, where do you begin when fortifying your security posture? If you ask us, the first step should always be…
1. EDUCATE EMPLOYEES: 81% of breaches use an outdated or weak password. Staff is the first line of defense; teach them the importance of…
• Creating stronger passwords. As hackers uncover new techniques to quickly crack predictable passwords, teams must use applications like password managers to make more effective credentials.
• Using multi-factor authentication. With applications able to guess the strongest passwords, teams need to do more. By implementing a second layer of identification, (e.g., text confirmation, a fingerprint, or a Face ID), teams create the extra layer of protection they need.
• Utilizing automatic updates/updating outdated devices. Attackers are eager to exploit any gap in your network, even those from older software. We recommend updating operating systems, utilizing automatic updates on mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, and updating applications and web browsers on all devices when notified.
• Knowing how to spot a phishing attempt. 91% of cyber-attacks are triggered by a single successful phishing attempt. Once data is stolen, it can and most likely will be used on legitimate sites against you as ransomware.
• Practicing real-life scenarios. Once employees are brushed up on the latest threats, put them to the test with Security Awareness Training (SAT). SATs put staff through life-like exercises and simulations that indicate if teams can truly identify potential threats.
2. SCAN FOR VULNERABILITIES: Only 59% of agencies have processes to communicate cyber risks. Understanding every far corner of your business environment is now essential. When evaluating and building your network during this phase, be sure to…
• Focus on business continuity. 34% of companies take over a week to recover their data. Security and backup investments should focus on supporting critical business processes.
• Develop a dedicated response team. Select a crisis-response team with primary contact points for presumed cybersecurity incidents and organizational tasks, including business continuity, communications, and legal.
• Build a detailed response plan. Training on various attacks and how they can impact networks is the start of knowing how to respond if an attack occurs.
• Uncover ways to support Information Security Officers and IT staff. IT burnout is on the rise and impacting staff everywhere. Help prevent stress by listening to IT teams when they seem tense and be sure to monitor for any signs of IT burnout.
• Hope for the best, yet anticipate the worst. Between the dozens of network domains and the countless apps employees use daily, organizations can now better prepare for an incident by exposing every device susceptibility using a Vulnerability Assessment.
3. TEST CONNECTIONS OFTEN: Decrease the possibility of damaging cyber incidents, detect intrusions, prepare business response plans, and maximize your team's resilience to a cyber-attack by...
1. Having IT staff enforce strong controls for cloud services.
2. Confirming cybersecurity/IT personnel are concentrating on identifying unusual network activity.
3. Performing exercises to ensure team members comprehend their roles if an event occurs.
4. Verifying IT personnel have stopped any unnecessary ports and protocols.
5. Evaluating backup procedures to ensure sensitive data can be quickly restored.
4. FORTIFY YOUR PERIMETER: After preparing your employees and testing your network, the last primary step we suggest is deciding what is needed to reinforce your infrastructure. And while all networks are unique, most ultimately benefit from the supplementary layers of security provided by…
• A Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN software safeguards your data by concealing your device's IP address, encrypting data, and routing it through secured networks to servers in distant states or countries.
• Unified Threat Management (UTM). UTM protects teams by scanning network activity using antivirus, antispam, web filtering, application control, and more.
• 24/7 Network Traffic Monitoring. Teams should find a security operation center trained to monitor, prevent, detect, investigate, and manage cyber threats around the clock.
• Next-Generation Firewall. Next-generation firewall integrates traditional firewall processes with other network filtering functions, such as an application firewall using an intrusion prevention system.
• Wireless Failover: Wireless failover is an automated process where a standard hardwired connection is transferred to a redundant wireless connection upon failure to ensure data is protected and accessible after a breach or system crash.
Looking at these features and concerned at all about costs? Simplify and strengthen processes by integrating all the above benefits, using a tailored solution like Managed Perimeter Security that allows multi-location network scalability with additional security layers to supply businesses with more reliable and secure networks.
As operations continue to increase online, so will cybercrime advances. Defend your network and reputation long-term by creating a detailed holistic strategy that enables you to easily…
Scaling security should never be rushed, but it is urgent considering our current climate. Save valuable time by discussing with a cybersecurity expert to see the exact resources you need to stay protected.