As with any business, it’s a shared objective to mitigate our cyber risk, but the pressing question remains – which tools genuinely make a difference and what should I use?
With expertise in the IT space and in IT security, GB Tech has noticed a common thread – numerous business leaders are left scratching their heads when choosing the right tools to dial down their cyber risk.
Discover the essential tools that can put you back in the driver’s seat when managing your cyber risk, explained in a simple, digestible manner.
Each tool wields substantial power in combating cyber threats, but the ultimate cybersecurity game plan layers different tools within your infrastructure. This multi-layered defense strategy makes it considerably more challenging for cyber criminals to grab your mission-critical data or infiltrate your network.
Origin of Cybersecurity Risks
Think about every device in your network – computers, mobile devices, printers, etc. They all carry a potential security risk, a weak spot that could lay bare your infrastructure and its precious data to unrequested access.
Moreover, cyber threats could slip through the most ordinary activities – like browsing online, sending emails, or even just a typical internet search.
Here’s the harsh truth: anything that forms a bridge between your internal infrastructure and the internet might just roll out the red carpet for a cyber attack, exposing your network and data.
Who’s the Target?
In the past, cybercriminals primarily hunted large corporations attracted by their vast reserves of sensitive data.
However, with these large corporations ramping up their cybersecurity posture, these cybercriminals have shifted towards small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These businesses often lack the technical prowess and financial muscle needed to defend their infrastructure.
Don’t mistake this for criticizing smaller businesses – it’s merely an acknowledgment of the tug-of-war between competing priorities.
And when businesses fail to detect and correct security gaps in their infrastructure, these vulnerabilities can become avenues for exploitation. This could lead to unwarranted access and thousands to millions of dollars in damages.
Mission-Critical Tools to Help Protect Your Business
Firewalls are the vigilant gatekeepers, regulating network traffic based on safety standards and specific company requirements. They quietly secure your network, often slipping into the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” category. Yet, like every network component, they need constant updates and monitoring to counter new threats.
A vulnerability scan is a tool that scans everything associated with your network while scouting for potential weak spots.
With your approval, this scan can skim the surface of the network, sometimes without login credentials, to inspect the extent of openly accessible information.
Think of penetration tests as organized, sanctioned hacking attempts.
This process invites an external IT expert to probe the depths of your current network, unearthing potential weak spots in your infrastructure and examining the implications of such vulnerabilities being exploited by an internal or external malicious entity.
With these threats exposed, you can strategically deploy resources and protective measures to prevent a possible cyber incident.
Gap analysis is a tool for many businesses aiming to pinpoint potential security threats and orchestrate mitigation plans.
The journey begins with identifying a cybersecurity framework that aligns closely with your business.
Using this chosen framework, business leaders assess their organization’s cyber readiness.
This assessment brings to light areas where the business’s cybersecurity endeavors might fall short of established best practices. With this knowledge, leadership can devise a strategic roadmap to their desired security state.
The key to a successful gap analysis lies in its sincere execution. It’s crucial to approach it with an open and earnest attitude, empowering your internal team to pinpoint specific areas of focus and establish action plans for progressing your cybersecurity.
Policies & Procedures
Consider internal cybersecurity policies and procedures as the rulebook for cybersecurity. Both their existence and consistent enforcement across the business are critical.
These are necessary for employees to be able to handle what’s expected and the consequences of non-compliance.
Businesses must craft understandable and enforceable policies while regularly accessing them to ensure they remain effective and maintain accountability.
For example, the rise in remote work and the use of personal devices introduces a whole wave of new security challenges, often due to irregular updates and out-of-date technology, among other issues. To tackle this, many organizations now establish BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, setting standards for security baseline alignment, monitoring, and maintaining personal devices.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Cyber liability insurance, also known as “cyber insurance”, once considered a luxury for many businesses, is becoming a necessity.
Insurance providers offer diverse coverage options tailored to defend against data breaches and cybersecurity incidents. While coverage levels vary, most policies typically include financial and professional support, such as forensics and public relations, to aid in post-cyber attack recovery.
Employee Security Awareness Training
Statistics reveal that a staggering 88 percent of cyber incidents originate from human error. Meaning – your employees could be your business most weakness link.
With regular employee security awareness training, your team learns what common strategies cybercriminals use to exploit vulnerabilities in a network.
Equipping your staff with this information enables them to act swiftly and decisively, preventing bad actors from breaching your network and its data.
Just as it’s crucial to know who enters your office premises daily, monitoring devices interacting with your business network is equally important.
Regular monitoring for unauthorized access to your network and/or files is critical, as you won’t be able to identify potential threats otherwise.
Anti-spam, antivirus, and anti-malware tools oversee the conduct of email and web traffic, while network monitoring keeps track of your overall infrastructure’s health.
Ensure you promptly install updates and patches as soon as their available. These updates often serve dual purposes – they enhance productivity and can strengthen your cybersecurity by filling any gaps.
Given the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, a solution that’s effective today might become obsolete by next year, month, or even week. Cybersecurity is never a one-and-done task. Don’t become complacent.
It’s important to regularly update your tools to ensure maximum protection against current cyber threats.
Cybersecurity is a constantly moving target. You can’t outrun it, but you can arm yourself against it. Remember, your business’s existence may rely on your preparedness!
To recap, we’ve dived into the roots of cybersecurity risks, potential targets, the fallout of neglecting risks, and the tools to shield your business. Remember, always focus on security.
The unfortunate reality is cyberattacks are inevitable. What you can control is your business readiness and resilience.
If managing cybersecurity alongside daily IT task feel overwhelming – you’re not alone.