The 10 Steps to Achieve Effective Cybersecurity — As organizations increasingly connect their operational processes to their cyber infrastructure, effective cybersecurity is key to an organization’s ability to protect its assets, including reputation, intellectual property, staff, and customers. Many companies believe that their investment in advanced technical solutions means they are well protected against cyberattacks. However, this is only part of an effective defense.
To counter the evolving cyber threats facing organizations today, organizations must ensure that there is an integrated approach to cybersecurity that addresses not only the technical aspects of their defenses but also people and organizational elements, tailored to their specific business and risk profiles. Here are 10 essential steps to achieve effective cybersecurity:
1- Risk Management Regime
Organizations should understand the risks they face before implementing security measures. This allows them to prioritize the biggest threats and ensure their responses are appropriate. A risk management regime also helps the board to be involved in your cybersecurity efforts and allows you to adjust your approach as the threat environment changes.
2- Network Security
Your organization’s network may contain vulnerabilities that could be exposed. You cannot eliminate all these vulnerabilities, but you should be aware of them and eliminate as much risk as possible with architectural changes. Hence, you should implement policies and technical measures to reduce the likelihood of exploitation.
3- Managing User Privileges
Organizations should establish access controls to ensure that employees can only access information relevant to their job. This prevents sensitive information from being exposed if someone gains unauthorized access to employees’ accounts and reduces the likelihood of an employee stealing sensitive information.
4- Incident Management
Incident management processes enable IT teams to quickly address vulnerabilities and incidents. Faster responses help reduce the overall impact of incidents, reduce damage, and ensure systems and services continue to function as planned. Without incident management, you could lose valuable data, gain low productivity and revenue due to downtime, or be held liable for breach of service level agreements. Even if the incidents do not cause minor or permanent damage, IT teams must devote valuable time to investigating and fixing issues.
System monitoring allows you to detect successfully or attempted attacks. This helps you in two basic ways. First, you will be able to detect incidents immediately and initiate response efforts. Second, you will gain first-hand evidence of how criminals target you, which will give you the opportunity to support your defenses and search for vulnerabilities before cyber criminals identify them.
6- Working Remotely
Many organizations offer employees the chance to work from home or on the go, but this comes with security risks. Remote workers do not receive the same physical and network security provided in the office, so organizations need to respond accordingly. This should include limiting access to sensitive systems and establishing policies to protect laptops, removable devices, and physical information outside of the office.
7- Malware Prevention
There are many ways malware can infect an organization’s systems. It can be sent via an email attachment, worm through a vulnerability, or connected to an office computer via a removable device. To mitigate these risks, organizations should implement anti-malware software and policies designed to help prevent employees from becoming victims. Phishing attacks are in charge of the vast majority of malware infections. By using Keepnet Labs’s Phishing Simulator, you can significantly reduce these malware infections since you will keep your employees aware of phishing attacks and test them against benign phishing attacks.
8- Removable Media Devices
USBs and other removable devices are the sources of many security problems. They are not only used to inject malware but also get involved in many insider events. Employees tend to lose removable devices or leave them plugged into computers that can be accessed by unauthorized people. Therefore, organizations should establish policies that emphasize the need to keep removable devices on you or in a safe place.
9- Secure Configuration
One of the most common causes of data breaches is improperly configured controls, such as an improperly secured database or a not installed software update. Emphasizing the importance of configuration can enable you to remove or disable unnecessary functions from systems and fix known vulnerabilities immediately.
10- Employee Education and Awareness
Employees play an important role in their organization’s security practices, so they need to be aware of their responsibilities and be shown what they can do to prevent data breaches. You can use Keepnet Labs’s Awareness Educator to train your employees with appropriate and engaging courses. It ensures your employees become more aware of threats and better-equipped to identify sophisticated phishing emails in the future.
Cyber Security Researcher