The internet is evolving, and with it, the complexity of cybercrimes. While technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are making business more efficient, they also increase the sophistication of cybercrimes.
In this increasingly digitized world, cybersecurity is no longer work for your IT department. While no full-proof tactic exists, there are strategies you can employ to harden up your company’s cyber-security defenses and protect yourself from malicious hackers.
Aligning Your Security With Your Business Goals
As you take measures towards improving defenses in your computer networks and systems, remember to align each action with your business goals. A one-size-fits-all plan will not work for your security. Instead, analyze your networks and systems for security needs and create a custom solution.
An effective security system will protect your company data and resources, without slowing down your operations. Also, remember that your cybersecurity should keep the hackers out while allowing your information to reach the intended audience. Your systems need to be safe and easy to use. By streamlining your company goals with your cybersecurity, you can achieve efficiency and defense.
Adapting To New Threats
The increasing dependency on the internet makes data hacks more rewarding for cybercriminals. Since almost everything is online nowadays, the threat to your company security grows larger daily. While the future is incomprehensible, keeping your protection up to date and making necessary changes in cybersecurity is crucial in fighting cybercrimes.
For instance, you can utilize AI to improve your security. With AI technology, you will receive early detection of threats. You can also configure your system to block suspicious activity or shutdown in case hacking occurs to protect essential data. Consider designing your system to work through biometrics, which ensures that only authorized users have access to your company data. Lastly, AI can help you integrate multi-factor authentication, especially when accessing private data.
Remember that criminals are also improving their hacking attempts with better tools, including AI technology. Integrating AI into your cybersecurity system is a consequence of better technology. The cost of not keeping up, whether as a small or large entity is expensive. Fortunately, there are modern tools that convert cyberattack fingerprints into cyber intelligence information. With the information, your analysts can then interpret the kind of threat your business is facing. Automation saves valuable time and fosters prevention rather than reaction.
Improving Defenses With User Access Reviews
Malware on the internet continually phishing for passwords and credentials. At the same time, crooks are always on the hunt for passwords through old-fashioned ways. Whether its shoulder-surfing, dumpster-diving, or impersonation, criminals are still trying to access your company information.
To protect your business’s data, you need to protect your passwords. The first step is assessing user access risks. Your risk assessment should start with people with the most access to your systems to those with the least access. Your next step should be to mitigate the risk using appropriate policies and procedures.
Also, remember to train your staff and let them understand their role in improving defenses. Creating a culture of security within your organization will ensure your employees take the cybersecurity seriously. You should also review alerts from your monitoring software to identify gaps in security and change user access when necessary. To protect your data even further, automate reviews and compliance. Automation will remove access for terminated employees, especially those that may be motivated to sell company data.
Adopting A Cybersecurity Framework
A cybersecurity framework is a set of guidelines and practices an organization uses to manage and reduce cybersecurity risks. Aside from helping you assess and mitigate risk, a cybersecurity framework is also designed to cultivate cybersecurity communications among inner and outer partners. There are several frameworks your business can adopt.
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard): This framework is designed to protect payment accounts, credit cards, and cash transactions.
ISO 27001/27002 (International Organization for Standardization): This is an international standard framework for information security management.
CIS Critical Security Controls: This framework provides a set of actions for cyber defense and protection against the most dangerous attacks.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework: This is a set of guidelines, standards, and best practices that help your organization improve security measures.
Conducting Cyber Security Risk Assessments
Performing risk assessments helps you identify your most important data and devices, identify weak points hackers can leverage, assess your vulnerability, and the risks that could come up when your data falls into the wrong hands. Risk assessment is a continuous process that should occur on given interims.
There are several approaches that you can use in conducting your risk assessment. However, the general framework is the same. First, you should compile your risk management team. Your team should have members from different departments within the organization to help you gain insight into your business’s total risk.
The second step is to identify your organization’s information assets. Every department in your organization has data that they run through systems and use for several reasons. What are the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS used? Who are your third-party vendors? Where is your data stored? These are just a few of the questions you should consider when creating your information assets catalog.
Once you have identified your assets, you need to assess the risks that they pose and then analyze each risk. Your analysis will give you an idea of the probability of facing a threat and the impact each risk has on your business. Lastly, you should set up your security controls and monitor and review them for effectiveness. Testing your systems against security breaches will help you create robust systems and also prepare for changes.
Back Up All Your Data
In 2014, Code Spaces went out of business after a hacker deleted their company data and backups. While it is crucial to prevent as cyberthreats, it is equally essential to prepare for cyberattacks. Some cybercriminals aim at destroying your company systems and data. Without a backup to fall back to, your company will crumble. Ensure you back up documents, financial files, databases in a separate location from your usual storage.
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.