Not long ago, most cyber professionals believed the right firewall, antivirus package and encryption tools were enough to keep their companies' data, devices, technologies, and systems safe from cyber attacks and breaches. But in today's increasingly dangerous digital world, you have to extend cyber security to the ever-expanding mix of devices, connections, networks, and hosted apps that power your business. That requires an integrated approach that ensures your technologies, services and threat intelligence work as one. With all of this in mind, there are 10 steps that can help you to achieve an effective level of cyber security.
RISK MANAGEMENT REGIME
Organisations must understand the risks they face before implementing security measures. This enables them to prioritise the biggest threats and ensure their responsibilities are appropriate.
One of the most common causes of data breaches is misconfigured controls such as a database that's not properly secured or a software update that hasn't been installed. Highlighting the importance of configuration can ensure that you remove or disable unnecessary functionality from systems and address known vulnerabilities promptly.
HOME AND MOBILE WORKING
No matter how robust your defence measures are, you will experience a security incident at some point. You must prepare for this by establishing policies and procedures to help mitigate the damage and get you back up and running as quickly as possible.
There are many ways malware can infect an organisations systems. It could be sent in an email attachment, worm through a vulnerability or be plugged into an office computer via a removable device. To mitigate these risks, organisations should implement anti-malware software and policies designed to help prevent employees from falling victim.
MANAGING USER PRIVILEGES
Organisations must create access controls to ensure that employees can only access information that's relevant to their job. This prevents sensitive information being exposed should someone gain unauthorised access to employees' accounts, and make it less likely that an employee will steal sensitive information.
System monitoring enables you to detect successful or attempted attacks. This helps you in two essential ways. First, you will be able to identify incidents promptly ans initiate response efforts. Second, you'll gain firsthand evidence of the ways criminals are targeting you, giving you the opportunity to shore up your defences and look for vulnerabilities before crooks identify them.
The connections from your networks to the internet contain vulnerabilities, but you should be aware of them and remove as many risks as you can with architectural changes.
REMOVABLE MEDIA CONTROLS
USBs and other removable devices are the source of many security issues. Not only are they often used to inject malware but they are also involved in many other incidents. Employees are prone to losing removable devices or leaving them plugged into computers where unauthorised parties can access them. Organisations must therefore create policies emphasising the need to keep removable devices on your person or in a secure location.
USER EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
Employees play an essential role in their organisaation's security practices, so they need to be taught their responsibilities and shown what they can do to prevent data breaches.