Keeping your organization safe against the barrage of attacks coming in at an alarming rate is no easy feat. Not only are cyber criminals smarter and more sophisticated than ever before, but they’re also much more relentless. Hackers seeking access to your sensitive data will stop at nothing to get what they want. You have to be ready to do battle at all times, day or night. Is your cybersecurity strategy strong enough to withstand the onslaught? If not, here are seven essential steps that will put you in a much better position.
Step 1 – Assess your risk posture. This is the first step, but also an important part of ongoing cybersecurity efforts. Identify areas of risk and potential vulnerabilities through which hackers may attempt to gain access to your network. Staying a step ahead of the game can prevent attacks from occurring in the first place.
Step 2 – Set up monitoring and security controls. Anti-virus, malware and firewalls should already be in place. More comprehensive network monitoring solutions are also recommended to achieve a stronger line of defense.
Step 3 – Invest in incident management. These days the question isn’t will your company be attacked, but when. Network security measures are designed to prevent invasion and they do a decent job. Unfortunately, they’re not foolproof. Strengthening these tools with automated incident response ensures that if a hacker manages a successful breach, the incident will quickly be detected, isolated and eradicated without the need for any human intervention.
Step 4 – Educate employees. Cyber security isn’t something only the IT department must be concerned with. It’s everyone’s job. To that end, make sure each and every employee within your organization is clear on what his or her role is, how to keep information safe and what red flags to watch for.
Step 5 – Manage user privileges. Research indicates that the biggest threats to a company’s information security are insiders. In most cases, users are unaware they are compromising sensitive data. In others, the perpetrator does so maliciously. To mitigate these risks as much as possible, be diligent about managing user privileges. Limit, monitor and audit user activities accordingly.
Step 6 – Create an all-inclusive security policy. When defining your cybersecurity strategy, don’t forget to account for things like removable media, mobile devices and remote workers. These things can present an added risk to your secure network. Establish and implement controls over media usage. Develop and enforce a mobile working policy. This will keep data secure, both at rest and in transit.
Step 7 – Leverage data to develop best practices. Perform routine audits of any and all security events to identify areas where improvements can and should be made. Utilize data from past incidents to develop and improve your organization’s best practices for responding to future incidents.
Remember – cybersecurity isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. It’s a living, breathing practice that must evolve alongside the many attacks that are being waged against your business on a daily basis. By implementing the above steps and harnessing the technology that’s available to you, your organization will assume a much stronger posture against any threat that may arise.